Skip to comments.Tantalizing Clues In Ancient Mounds (Japan/Jomon)
Posted on 05/04/2005 11:31:36 AM PDT by blam
Tantalizing clues in ancient mounds
The Asahi Shimbun
SAGA-Ancient mounds here may be among the nation's oldest and prove that the original owners were pretty inventive for their day.
Recent excavations at the Higashimyo archeological site indicate the shell mounds date back 7,000 years-to the early Jomon Period (8000 B.C.-300 B.C.).
Higashimyo has western Japan's largest such mounds. They are believed to have been created by the dumping of shells and other refuse.
Remains of more than 40 baskets, hand-woven from thin strips of wood, have been found there. Experts say they may be the oldest so far discovered.
Many large mounds have been found in eastern Japan, mainly in the Kanto region, that date from the Jomon Period. But sites as large and as old as those in Higashimyo are rare, experts said.
"The mounds illustrate how people shifted from hunting to cultivating marine resources," said Masayuki Komoto, a Kumamoto University professor who heads the excavation. "The findings will allow us to make a thorough study of ancient people's daily lives."
The city's board of education, which is overseeing the excavation, concluded the shell mounds are from the early Jomon Period because pottery particular to that time was found.
The mounds were excavated in May 2004. Earlier, remains of settlements and graves were discovered. Six mounds, covering a total area of about 1,250 square meters, are being examined.
Stratum in the soil shows evidence of a shell layer at least 1 meter deep and up to 15 meters wide that runs north to south for about 500 meters across the entire area.
About 10 percent of the site has been excavated. Archaeologists have discovered not only shells and remnants of hand-woven wooden baskets, but also fish bones and tools fashioned from deer antlers.
The hand-woven containers are in four styles.
The tools are patterned with regular notches of about 1 millimeter in diameter.
Tatsuo Kobayashi, a professor of archaeology at Kokugakuin University, said the containers and tools are evidence that, despite popular belief, Jomon Period people had a relatively high level of technology.
The Higashimyo site was discovered during the construction of a reservoir designed to offset flood waters.
Experts believe the area used to be an estuary which was connected to a shoreline during the Jomon Period.(IHT/Asahi: May 4,2005)
1. The Ainu (Kennewick Man) are believed to have descended from the Jomon
2. The oldest Jomon skeleton ever found in Japan is 13,000 years old
3. The Jomon produced the oldest pottery in the world and is recognized by its 'cord' markings
4. Jomon type 'cord' marked pottery has been found in Olmec ruins in Mexico
Proof that the Jomon used the metric system as far back as 5000 BCE?
Thank you for another interesting article.
There's something intriguing about Ban Chiang and I haven't quite figured it out yet. FReeper JimSEA brought this area to my attention. (I suspect they're early Sundaland refugees?)
If memory serves me correctly, and it frequently doesn't, the age of the USA pottery would be about 4000 years or more recent than the Thailand site and far more recent than the Japanese site.
While the "basketmakers" were clearly the ancestors of today's Pueblo Indians (Hopi, etc.) the question would be what intermarriage had taken place and what culture was passed down. In the same area of the USA, Clovis sites are numerous -- Clovis, NM. One site from the San Pedro Valley has the most beautiful spear points and knives I have ever seen. Some of which are embedded in Mammoth bones.
That may exolain the presence of Joman 'type' pottery at the Olmec site.
"If memory serves me correctly, and it frequently doesn't, the age of the USA pottery would be about 4000 years or more recent than the Thailand site and far more recent than the Japanese site."
"Where does the oldest pottery in the world come from?
No, not from the Near East, nor indeed from the Middle East. It comes from Japan.
It has long been known that the Jomon pottery of Japan goes back a very long way. (Jomon means Twisted cord, so this is the pottery made with twisted cord decoration.
Recently however pottery has been found that dates back to 13,000 years ago, which, if you use the latest radiocarbon calibration, gives a date of 16,000 years ago. (or 14,000 BC).
I really enjoy reading about this type of findings/discoverires
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
Blam, may I know if you have any theories regarding how a caucasian-looking people (the JOMON, and the AINU) come to be living in Japan, which is so far away from Europe ???
Good, I see there's a "Ping Master" on the thread...
It's incorrect to classify the Jomon/Ainu as Caucasians.
There are two events in the last 100,000 years that define humans today. The Toba (near-extinction event) volcano explosion (74,000 years ago) reduced the worldwide human population to 2-10,000 people worldwide and produced many new 'branches' on the human tree (this bottleneck is still in our DNA)...the Jomon/Ainu types were probably defined at this event and they dominated large areas of Asia for thousands of years.
The second event, The Last Glacial Maximum(LGM), the coldest period during the Ice Age, occurred 23-18,000 years ago with another new 'branching' of human types. It was this event (I believe) that defined both the Caucasians and Mongoloids probably from a common source and its root was probably the Jomon/Ainu. The oldest (undisputed) Mongoloid skeleton ever found is 10,000 years old. The northern Asians, with the extreme Mongoloid features such as flat face, peculiar eyelid, Sindont teeth and lighter skin were a branch from the southern Mongoloids, Sundont teeth, etc.
I've come to believe that the 'homeland' of today's Caucasians is somewhere around present day Gansu Province, China.
Try to visualize the world during the most extreme time during the Ice Age (23-18,000 years ago), Europe is isolated and frozen while SE Asia (including Sundaland) was nice and balmy for thousands of years and humans must have flourished there. It was during the LGM that groups of people in the northern regions were isolated and I think this isolation produced the Caucasian and Mongoloid people of today. Caucasians just happened to be the ones who migrated to Europe as the Ice Age ended replacing the Neanderthals.
With reference to your post # 14
With our curiousity aroused, my friends and I would like you to enlighten us a little bit more on your theory that the caucasians originally come from the Gansu area of China
In my reading about the ancient Iranians, I came across the below paragraph in the book, The Tarim Mummies, the origins of the Tocharians is being discussed. Here's from page 281 of that book:
"As we have just mentioned, the people who emerge as the Tocharians in western sources are often equated with a branch of the Yuezhi of Chinese sources who were driven from the Gansu borderlands by the Xiongnu, then further west by the Wusun, arriving at the Oxus, and going on to conquesr Bactria and establish the Kushan empire.
Narain (an Indian Archaeologists) argues that once one accepts the equation Tocharian = Yuezhi, then one is forced to follow both the Chinese historical sources (which for him would propel the Yuezhi back to at least the 7th century BC) and the geographical reference of their first cited historical location (Gansu) to the conclusion that they have lived there 'from time immemorial'.
Narain infers that they had been there at least since the Qijia culture of c.200BC and probably even earlier in the Yangshao of the Neolothic.
This would render the Tocharians as virtually native to Gansu (and earlier than the putative spread of the Neolithic to Xinjiang) and Narain goes so far as to argue that the Indo-Europeans themselves originally dispersed from this area westwards. Seldom has a tail so small wagged a dog so large."
The Tocharian language is most closely related to ancient Celtic languages.
BTW, the oldest paper ever found was found in China and it had Tocharian written on it.
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