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Archaeology & Anthropology: Open Access

The Japanese Neolithic: The Sea at the Origins of the Jōmon Culture and the Iriae Archaeological Excavations on Tsushima Island

  • Open or CloseDaniele Petrella*

    International Research Institute for Archaeology and Ethnology, Italy

    *Corresponding author: Daniele Petrella, International Research Institute for Archaeology and Ethnology, Via Mezzocannone 109, Naples, Italy

Submission: March 06, 2023; Published: March 28, 2023

DOI: 10.31031/AAOA.2023.04.000612

ISSN: 2577-1949
Volume4 Issue4


Japanese neolithic, the so called Jōmon Period, represent a vast terrain in which to develop new and exciting research in the archaeological field. This is because there are still many questions that need to be answered to better clarify the evolutionary dynamics of the cultures that characterized it. The further back in time one goes, the more the questions increase and the elements on which to study are few. For this reason, the Jōmon Period represents the one on which it is necessary for modern archaeological science to focus more rigorously. Among these, those most under analysis are related to the origins of the Jōmon culture, a topic that cannot be separated from human and cultural contacts and the relationship with the surrounding environment, which translates into an inseparable binomial: the relationship with the Korean populations and that with the sea. While the importance of the Jōmon People’s relationships with their Korean neighbors is now recognized, the nature and extent of these contacts are still debated. The proposal is to deepen an aspect that is still underdeveloped: the relationship with the sea. What was its role in the life of the Jōmon People? How did they adapt to the environmental changes with the advent of the Holocene? How did they move and what boats did they use? What were kaizuka really and what did they mean? IRIAE has developed a new project of archaeological investigation on land and underwater, precisely in relation to these issues, identifying the island of Tsushima (Nagasaki Prefecture) as a crucial point in which to look for answers that can contribute to clarifying this complex situation. The activities will begin at the sites of Meotoishimae and Ongaura, both overlooking the Korean coasts and responding to the geomorphological characteristics of possible landings and/or coastal settlements.

Keywords:Japan; Jōmon; Neolithic; Holocene; Environment; Maritime archaeology; Kaizuka; Settlement

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