Japan

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Japan’s Rich Heritage

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 […]

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Fishing in the Jōmon

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 […]

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Salmon cooking in the Jomon

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 […]

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Book Review: Vessels of Influence

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 […]

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A Japanese time capsule

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 […]

Lake Suigetsu

Japanese time capsule extends radiocarbon dating 40,000 years

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 […]

Japan; Kublai Khan’s invasion fleet

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 […]

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Japan: Tidal Wave

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.

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Japan: Surviving the tsunami

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.

Tagajo and Sendai

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.

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