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Jomon Age

Shimohara and Fujimi-cho sites in Jomon Age


   Jomon Age is the first stage of sedentarism and pottery making in Japanese Is. It is often compared with Neolithic Age in Eurasian context. However most character of Jomon is without agriculture. It must be considered as integrated hunter-gatherer society among temperate forest zone in Holocene environmental setting. Also some coastal Jomon society had highly adopted utilizing maritime resources, from seashell gathering to open sea fishery. They remained large shell middens.
   Inland Jomon people, including those who lived in Shimohara and Fujimi-cho sites were hunting animals with bows and pitfalls, there are evidence of dog domestication. They were also gathering nuts, acorns, or other plants. Recently microscopic evidences of domesticated beans are unveiled by archaeo-ethnobotanists.
   In Shimohara and Fujimi-cho sites, we have found only one dwelling pit within vast excavated area. Otherwise we have found 11 pitfalls and 24 stone heaps with pit. Pitfalls are for hunting middle to large size animals. Stone heaps with pit are estimated as cooking (grilling) gear with analogue of ethnographic record.
   These results of excavation suggest that the area of site was not a centre of sedentary settlement but specific activity area (e.g. procurement and processing of edible resources). Both chrono-typology of pottery and AMS dating indicate the period of sites as Middle Jomon (ca.6,000~4,500BP).

Our findings of Jomon Age


   (detailed description will be updating soon later)

Photographs of Jomon Age excavation1:uncovered strucures
Dwelling pit #SI001
proflie cut by modern land development, view from SE
Dwelling pit #SI001
under excavation
Dwelling pit #SI001
after excavation
Burial pit #SU001
a Kasori E3 type pottery buried upside-down postion
Burial pit #SU002
another Kasori E3 type pottery buried upside-down position (bottom were broken in latter age)
Burial pit #SU003
another Kasori E3 type pottery buried upside-down position
Burial pit #SU003
after removal of frontal part of buried pottery and infill deposits
Pitfall #SO007
bathtub form type
Pitfall #SO006
steep deep bottom type
Hearth in pit #FP001
heavy burnt floor seemed in right part


Photographs of Jomon Age excavation2:stone heap in pit
Stone heap in pit #SH005
unveiled pebbles in pit, the 1st stage of excavation
Stone heap in pit #SH005
after removing the 1st layer of pebbles and deposits
Stone heap in pit #SH005
removing the 2nd and 3rd layers of pebbles and deposits
Stone heap in pit #SH005
the lowest part of pebble accumulation
Stone heap in pit #SH005
after removal of almost pebbles, blackish charcoal rich infill deposit is appeared
Stone heap in pit #SH005
after removal of all infills, taking samples for geomagnetism and measuring their location


Photographs of Jomon Age excavation3: excavation scenes
Searching structures in Holocene sediments
buried structures are distinguished by different colour of infill deposits from ground sediments
3-Dimensional measurement by total station system
Almost artefacts were recorded their 3-dimensional position in its context
Recording more detailed condition of pebbles for fabric analysis



Series of Jomon pottery uncovered from Shimohara and Fujimi-cho