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Paleolithic culture in Japan

So far, there was at least 5000 Paleolithic sites in Japan . The discovery of the first Paleolithic site was made at Iwajuku (Gunma prefecture). Sugihara (in Imamura, 1996) claimed, based on the variation of stone tools from Iwajuku, the progress of tool types of Paleolithic in Japan roughly can be designated as follows: handaxes knife-shape tool - leaf-shape spearhead - microblade.

According to Imamura (1996), the Japanese Paleolithic was characterized, among others, by volcanic ash layers. One of the important layer of volcanic ash is the AT (Aira-Tanzawa) pumice, which was erupted by the Aira caldera in southern Kyushu, occurred 21,000-22,000 years ago, distributed volcanic ash as far as northern Honshu.

Furthermore, this AT pumice than divided the Late Paleolithic in Japan into pre-AT and post-AT phases. In pre-AT phase, there was extensive distribution of similar stone tool assemblages throughout Japan, in contrast to post-AT phase, which was found to have distinct local variations. The tools of pre-AT phases are chipped or edge-ground stone axes and trapezoids or tools with a transversal edge like trapezes. Knife-shape tools also emerged in crude forms and developed into complete forms during this phase. This kind of tool became most common after the AT pumice.

The following cultural period, the Neolithic,  was represented by the appearance of pottery during the closing phase of the terminal Pleistocene or early Holocene; firstly in Kyushu and a little later in Shikoku and Central Honshu. The event of pottery marked the beginning of the Jomon tradition.

Reference:
Arif.J. 2006. Identification of prehistoric beliefs: comparative study of the beliefs of Jomon peoples and ancient Southeast Asian. Research report.

Posted in Uncategorized 7 years, 11 months ago at 8:01 am.

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