The University of Arizona

Dating and Stable Isotope Analysis of Charred Residues on the Incipient Jomon Pottery (Japan)

Kunio Yoshida, Dai Kunikita, Yumiko Miyazaki, Yasutami Nishida, Toru Miyao, Hiroyuki Matsuzaki


This study measured radiocarbon dates of more than 30 samples of charred residues on pottery sherds of the Incipient stage of the Jomon period. The ages of potteries of Linear-relief (Ryukisenmon) were 15,300–13,700 cal BP, with great differences among remains. The pitted decoration (Enkomon), Nail-impressed (Tsumegatamon), and pressing and dragging (Oshibikimon) types indicate 13,800–12,400 cal BP. For pottery of the same type, differences among sites were large. At the Unokiminami site, the type of impressed cord mark (Oatsu jomon) is the main type, including Nail-impressed. The latter shows slightly older age. Stable isotope and elemental analyses were used to ascertain the origin of charred residues on the pottery. In the dataset of Jomon pottery of the oldest type, residues consisting only of cooked nuts were found. However, Jomon people, even from early times, are thought to have cooked mixed plant and animal ingredients, including marine products.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16377


Jomon pottery; radiocarbom dating; paleodietary;

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