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Ancient Jomon of Japan


  • 79 b/w illus. 30 maps 15 tables
  • Page extent: 350 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 952/.01
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: GN776.3.J6 H225 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Jōmon culture
    • Japan--Antiquities

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521772136 | ISBN-10: 0521772133)

In this 2004 book, Junko Habu illustrates recent developments in the archaeology of the Jomon period (circa 14,500–300 BC) of Japan and presents new analyses. Unlike most prehistoric pottery using peoples, the Jomon people are thought to have been hunter-gatherers. Evidence of plant cultivation does exist, but none of the cultigens recovered from Jomon sites seems to have been used as a staple food resource. High site density, food storage, and long distance trade also characterize this Jomon period. Using ecological models of hunter-gatherer culture and behavior, Habu examines various aspects of Jamon culture including subsistence, settlement, rituals, crafts and trade, and presents a model of long-term change in hunter-gatherer cultural complexity. In this comprehensive analysis, Junko Habu helps to bridge the gap between largely Japanese discourse on this 10,000 year period of Japanese prehistory and the modern scientific debate on later hunter-gatherer societies. It will prove invaluable to students and researchers alike.

• Synthesises a vast amount of site data in an accessible format • The first substantial English language overview of the Jomon (most work has been done in Japanese) • Covers a 10,000 year sweep of Japanese prehistory


Part I. Overview: 1. Introduction; 2. Background to the study: overview of the Jomon Period; Part II. Subsistence and Settlement: 3. Subsistence strategies; 4. Settlement archaeology; Part III. Rituals, Crafts and Trade: 5. Mortuary and ceremonial practices; 6. Crafts and exchange networks; Part IV. Discussion and Conclusion: 7. Discussion and conclusion.


'… this book is comprehensive, informative and academically exciting.' Antiquity

'Junko Habu has provided a detailed, comprehensive, and stimulating account of Jomon variety and development … Habu's historical overviews of research trends, syntheses of current results, good grounding in theory, acute observations, and gently stated criticisms have yielded a state-of- the-art book that will serve as the authoritative introduction to the Jomon for a long time to come.' Monumenta Nipponica

'the distinctive aspects covered in this book include the chapters in which Habu presents her original reconstruction of Jomon society based on Anglo-American theories, particularly in relation to the hunter-gatherer models create by Lewis Binford. these chapters make this book a rarity in Japanese archaeology, with the exception of an earlier monograph written by Habu (2001) herslef, and Habu's arguments are important in delineating new hypotheses in Jomon research.' Anthropoligical Science

'The book is comprehensive and covers all aspects of Jomon … Habu's survey not only informs the western reader thoroughly but also offers interesting analogies for comparisons between complex hunter-gatherer societies world-wide.' Journal of Comparative Human Biology

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