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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 2

SEARCHING FOR THE FORM: AN EXPERIENCE OF JOMON CULTURE ANCIENT DWELLINGS RECONSTRUCTION (on the data of Uenohara-4 Site, Kyushu)

A.V. Tabarev, Yu.V. Tabareva, D.A. Ivanova
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, 17, Lavrentieva Ave., 630090, Novosibirsk
Keywords: Japanese Archipelago, Kyushu, Jomon, Uenohara, settlement, pottery, dwellings, shape, reconstruction

Abstract

The article is devoted to one of the most interesting and complicated problems in archaeology, which is reconstruction of dwellings and dwelling constructions. It is focused on the ancient cultures of the Pacific basin (tropical and subtropical zones) dated to the period from the late Pleistocene to Holocene optimum (12000-10000 BP to 6000-5000 BP). The work is based both on the author’s personal travels to Japan and South America and a wide range of scientific publications. The earliest postulated sedentary villages in Japan have been found in southern Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu Island. Such early pottery sites as Sojiyama, Kakoinohara, Shikazegashira, Higashi Kurotsuchida, Maebaru, Okunonita and Uenohara are dated from the incipient to the early Jomon period (12600-7400 BP). The sedentism development is associated with climatic warming, when coniferous forests were replaced by deciduous forests with dominant nut producing plants. Archaeologists also have postulated that at that time the ancient population experienced certain stress caused by transition from hunting for large Pleistocene animals to small mammals and gathering. The Uenohara site is one of the best known and recently discovered Jomon sites from Kagoshima Prefecture. Fifty-two pit dwellings, thirty-nine stone clusters (hearths), and 260 storage pits were discovered in Section 4. The reconstructed dwellings exposed at the Uenohara Museum are represented by light constructions with dome-shaped wooden carcasses and thatched covering. This model is very close to some dwellings known known from various ethnographical data, for example, Modoc Indians in Northern California. In order to find more archaeological analogies the authors put attention to materials of the ancient cultures of the Pacific coast of South America (7800-5300 BP). Such pre-pottery and early pottery settlements as Paloma (Central Peruvian coast), El Porvenir (Northern Peruvian coast), and Real Alto (Ecuadorian coast) demonstrate the remains of small-size (not more than 18 m 2) dwelling constructions with dome-shaped roofs, without central poles and inner hearths. This set of elements is recognized by the authors as the common pattern for the early Pacific cultures.