Simon Kaner, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures One of the biggest stories of the past decade continues to be our enhanced understanding of one of the greatest technological developments of the ancient world: the invention of pottery (CWA 11 & 38). Calibrated AMS dating on carbonised remains on sherds from […]
Analysis of some of the world’s earliest pots has revealed that Ice Age hunter-gatherers used them to cook fish. By studying charred food residues inside over 100 pots made across Japan during the J¬ōmon period (14,000-300 BC), an international team of researchers have found the earliest direct evidence for how ceramic vessels were used. While […]
Analysis of some of the world’s earliest pots has revealed that Ice Age hunter-gatherers enjoyed a fish supper. An international team of researchers, led by the University of York, examined charred food residues inside 101 pots made by the Jomon hunter-gatherer culture of Japan. Dating back up to 15,000 years, they represent the earliest direct […]
Vessels of Influence: China and the birth of porcelain in Medieval and Early Modern Japan Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere Bristol Classical Press, £12.99 ISBN 978-0715634639 The relationship between China and Japan over the past 1,000 years is a fascinating one. Until about 1600, China was well ahead, and the Japanese admired all things Chinese. Then, with […]
Archaeologists will be able to determine the age of ancient objects much more precisely following a breakthrough in radiocarbon dating using sediments from Lake Suigetsu in Japan. Radiocarbon, or C-14, is a naturally occurring, radioactive isotope of carbon that is continuously produced in the upper atmosphere and becomes incorporated into all living organisms. Once the […]
Archaeologists will be able to determine the age of ancient objects much more precisely, following a breakthrough in radiocarbon dating using sediments from Lake Suigetsu in Japan. Radiocarbon, or C-14, is a naturally occurring, radioactive isotope of carbon that is continuously produced in the upper atmosphere and becomes incorporated into all living organisms. Once the organisms die […]
The wreck of a Mongolian ship that took part in Kublai Khan’s attempts to invade and subjugate Japan in 1281 has been discovered on the seabed off southern Japan. The warship appears to be nearly complete, and lies in 1m of silt at a depth of 25m. An archaeological team from Okinawa’s University of the […]
Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in Spring this year, archaeologist Simon Kaner insists there is much to celebrate about the country’s heritage – and much to mend.
The deadly wave that engulfed the northeastern coastline of Japan devastated many archaeological sites and museums. Prehistoric settlers along the coast chose higher ground for their sites, perhaps passing on knowledge of the danger from earlier tsunamis from generation to generation. CWA looks at a handful of these ancient sites.
At first glance Japanese castles appeared to have weathered the centuries unscathed, but looks can be deceptive. Here Stephen Turnbull contrasts Sendai Castle’s picture- book fragility with the rather tougher existence in the earlier fort of Tagajo.
A look at the ancient Japanese ceramic figures currently on show at the British Museum
Latest finds from the Ryukyu islands, including a series of royal burials
David Mason writes about the unusual excavation techniques he learnt as an excavator in Japan
A picturesque look at Japan’s prehistoric Jomon Culture, encompassing their exquisite pottery, economy and burial beliefs
The Jomon must be one of the most perverse cultures in the world: it does not fit into any of the usual categories. It is tempting to say that it is the Japanese Mesolithic for it comes after the late Palaeolithic, and the economy consisted entirely of hunting and gathering. There is no hint of […]
Excavation of a Samurai castle in Okinawa, the island 400 miles to the south of Japan
Conference on medieval Japanese archaeology