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Radiocarbon dating of charred residues on the earliest pottery in Japan.

Toshio Nakamura, Yasuhiro Taniguchi, Sei ichiro Tsuji, Hirotaka Oda


Recently, primitive-type pottery was discovered in the Russian Far East, China, and Japan. Radiocarbon ages of far earlier than 10,000 BP have been obtained, relating directly or indirectly to the pottery. As an example of these very old (super 14) C ages for incipient pottery, we report here (super 14) C ages of charred adhesions on five potsherds and three charred wood fragments that were collected with the archeological artifacts (stone tools from the Chojakubo Culture) in the loam layers at the Odai Yamamoto I site (41 degrees 03'44"N, 140 degrees 033'20"E) in Aomori prefecture, at the northern end of the Japanese main island. The carbonaceous remains on the surface of the potsherds could be ancient food residues or soot from fuel for cooking. These small carbon samples were dated at the Tandetron accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) (super 14) C dating facility at Nagoya University, as well as by Beta Analytic Co. Ltd. Except for two charred wood (super 14) C dates, 7070+ or -40 and 7710+ or -40 BP, all five charred-residue samples and one wood charcoal sample gave older (super 14) C ages of 12,680-13,780 BP, corresponding to the period of the Chojakubo Culture in Japan. This culture marks the beginning of the Jomon Culture, which is characterized by pottery usage and bow-and-arrow hunting.


Aomori Japan;Odai Yamamoto Japan;lower Holocene;Honshu;artifacts;anthropology;archaeology;archaeological sites;Holocene;Far East;Japan;Pleistocene;upper Pleistocene;Asia;Cenozoic;Quaternary;C 14;carbon;dates;isotopes;radioactive isotopes;absolute age

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