Analyses of sediment cores extracted from the Fuzhou Basin indicate that, at that time, the kind of marshy areas that are needed for rice paddies disappeared under rising waters. What are hilltops in the region today shrank to islands no more than one mile across.
Locals built outposts on newly minted islands starting around 5,500 years ago and honed their nautical skills, probably using wooden canoes or bamboo rafts to obtain fish and other aquatic food in a vast estuary, Rolett and his colleagues report in the April Quaternary Science Reviews. A largely rice-free, maritime lifestyle eventually enabled sea voyages of 130 kilometers to Taiwan, Rolett proposes. Farming villages first appeared on Taiwan 5,000 years ago.
Story: US News | Photo: Wikimedia Commons