Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
In This Section

Open Archaeology

1 Issue per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2300-6560
See all formats and pricing
In This Section

A New Method for Contextual Analysis on Prehistoric Attitudes to Ritual Pottery

Makoto Tomii
  • Centre for Cultural Heritage Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606- 8501, Japan
Published Online: 2015-11-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2015-0015

Abstract

This paper provides a new method for the contextual analysis of pottery in an approach to prehistoric sensibilities. Collating the contextual photographic evidence of pottery in a prehistoric ritual setting, with photographs of the pot taken after excavation from every direction, that is, omni-directional photo-taking, allows an archaeologist to demonstrably identify which surface of the pot was oriented to a certain direction in its original context. Owing to the presumably solemn and formal atmosphere of the prehistoric burial, the orientation of funerary goods is helpful for the understanding of the cognition of prehistoric people. A case study comes from the cemetery of the introductory stage of the Japanese Neolithic, and the orientation of the blackened discoloration of pottery that had appeared accidentally during open-firing in production is investigated. Results show that the prehistoric actor was fully aware of the blackened spot, and contributes to the argument for the inclination of past potters to try to prevent such accidental defect.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: omni-directional photography; prehistoric pottery; pottery deposition; jar burial; single grave; cemetery; fire-cloud; ceramic history; Prehistoric Japan

References

  • Akiyama, K. (1994). Kizumono no doki (Pottery with defects). (In Japanese). Proceedings of the Osaka Archaeological Association, 2, 57-83. Google Scholar

  • Carver, M. (2005). Key ideas in excavation. In C. Renfrew & P. Bahn (eds.), Archaeology: The key concepts. London: Routledge, pp. 106-10. Google Scholar

  • Chapman, J. (2000). Social Archaeology. In L. Ellis (ed.), Archaeological method and theory: An encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., pp. 570-577. Google Scholar

  • Ehime Prefecture Archaeology Center. (1985). Mochida-Cho San-Chome Site. Ehime: Ehime Prefecture Archaeology Center. (In Japanese). Google Scholar

  • Gibson, A. & Woods, A. (1997). Prehistoric pottery for the archaeologist. (2nd edition). Leicester: Leicester University Press. Google Scholar

  • Habu, J. (2004). Ancient Jomon of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Hudson, M. (1992). Rice, bronze, and chieftains: an archaeology of Yayoi ritual. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 19(2-3), 139-189. Google Scholar

  • Kagawa Prefecture Archaeology Center. (2006). Sakogawa-Kubota Site. Kagawa: Kagawa Prefecture Archaeology Center. (In Japanese). Google Scholar

  • Mizoguchi, K. (2013). The archaeology of Japan: From the earliest rice farming villages to the rise of the state. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Morioka, H. and Fujiwara, M. (1977). Yayoi iseki ni tomonau shodoko ni tsuite (On the Yayoi pits filled with ash). (In Japanese). In Y. Aboshi (ed.), Daishiyama. (Kansai University Archaeological Studies. vol.5). Osaka: Kansai University, pp. 212-265. Google Scholar

  • Shepard, A. O. (1956). Ceramics for the archaeologist. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington. Google Scholar

  • Suto, T. (1986). Yayoi doki no yoshiki (Style of Yayoi pottery). (In Japanese). In H. Kanaseki and M. Sahara (eds.), Yayoi pottery I. (Studies of Yayoi Culture. vol.3). Tokyo: Yuzankaku, pp. 11-26. Google Scholar

  • Tsude, H. (1982). Genshi doki to josei (Primitive pottery and women). (In Japanese). In H. Sekiguchi and Y. Kawane (eds.), Primitive and ancient times. (Women’s History of Japan. vol.1). Tokyo: Tokio University Press, pp. 1-42 Google Scholar

  • Tsugiyama, J. (2014). Kofun shutsugenki no shakai to doki no ido (Society during the initial stage of the Kofun period and the movement of pottery). (In Japanese). The SHIRIN, 97(1), 7-35. Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2015-07-23

Accepted: 2015-10-12

Published Online: 2015-11-25


Citation Information: Open Archaeology, ISSN (Online) 2300-6560, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2015-0015.

Export Citation

© 2015 Makoto Tomii. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Supplementary Article Materials

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in