Abstract

People of the Jomon period (currently dated from about 14,000 b.c. to the first millennium b.c.) began to make lacquer ornaments as early as 7000 b.c. and by the fourth millennium b.c. were creating elaborately decorated, low-fired pottery vessels that appear to have been used for feasting. In the Final period of the Jomon, grave goods appear in a substantial percentage of burials. Without reliance on agriculture, Jomon people appear to have achieved a high level of social complexity. However, the evidence from a few case studies concerning lacquer, elaborate pottery, and burials seems to show that while part-time specialization provided a wealth of rich material culture, sustained hierarchy was not achieved and there was an emphasis on exchange and solidarity, as in other middle-range societies. This article reviews new material and debates.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 361-388
Launched on MUSE
2007-09-04
Open Access
No
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