Plant remains dating to between 9000 and 8400 BP from a probable ditch structure at the Huxi site include the oldest rice (Oryza sativa) spikelet bases and associated plant remains recovered in China. The remains document an early stage of rice domestication and the ecological setting in which early cultivation was taking place. The rice spikelet bases from Huxi include wild (shattering), intermediate, and domesticated (non-shattering) forms. The relative frequency of intermediate and non-shattering spikelet bases indicates that selection for, at the very least, non-shattering rice was underway at Huxi. The rice also has characteristics of japonica rice (Oryza sativa subsp. japonica), helping to clarify the emergence of a significant lineage of the crop. Seeds, phytoliths and their context provide evidence of increasing anthropogenesis and cultivation during the occupation. Rice spikelet bases from Kuahuqiao (8000–7700 BP), Tianluoshan (7000–6500 BP), Majiabang (6300–6000 BP), and Liangzhu (5300–4300 BP) sites indicate that rice underwent continuing selection for reduced shattering and japonica rice characteristics, confirming a prolonged domestication process for rice.