The Jōmon Pottery (縄文式土器 Jōmon-shiki Doki?) is a type of ancient pottery which was made during the Jōmon period in Japan. The term "Jōmon" (縄文) means "rope-patterned" in Japanese, describing the patterns that are pressed into the clay.
Oldest Pottery in Japan
Bits of pottery discovered in a cave in the northwest coast of modern day Kyushu date back to as far as 12,700 B.C. in radiometric dating tests. It is believed by many that Jōmon pottery was probably made even earlier than this date. However, due to ambiguity and multiple sources claiming different dates based on different dating techniques, it is difficult to say for sure how far back Jōmon Pottery was made. Some sources claim archaeological discoveries as far back as the fourteenth millennium B.C.
The Jōmon Period in Ancient Japan lasted until roughly 300 B.C. From there, it is divided into six periods: Incipient Jōmon, from 10,500-8,000 B.C., Earliest Jōmon, from 8,000-5,000 B.C., Early Jōmon, from 5,000-2,500 B.C., Middle Jōmon, from 2,500- 1,500 B.C., Late Jōmon, from 1,500-1,000 B.C., and Final Jōmon, from 1,000-300 B.C. There are over 80 sites in Japan where Incipient Jōmon pottery vessels have been found, but the majority of Jōmon pottery remains come from the later periods.
The majority of Jōmon pottery has rounded bottoms and the vessels are typically small. This shows that the vessels would typically be used to boil food, perhaps fitting into a fire. Later Jōmon pottery pieces are more elaborate, especially during the Middle Jōmon period, where the rims of pots became much more complex and decorated.
The name Jōmon itself means “rope-patterned”. This refers to the impressions on the surface of the pottery which were created by pressing rope into the clay before it was heated to approximately 600-900 degrees Celsius.
- Corded Ware culture, a prehistoric European culture also characterised by pottery with cord and rope impressions
- Emishi people
- Rice, Prudence M. “On the Origins of Pottery.” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 6, no. 1 (1999): 1-54. Database on-line. Springerlink; accessed October 3, 2007.
- Kuzmin, Yaroslav V. “Chronology of the earliest pottery in East Asia: progress and pitfalls.” Antiquity 80, (2006): 362-371. Database on-line. EBSCOhost; accessed October 3, 2007.
- Hall, M. E. “Pottery Styles during the Early Jomon Period: Geochemical Perspectives on the Moroiso and Ukishima Pottery Styles.” Archaeometry 43, no. 1 (2001): 59-75. Database on-line. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost; accessed October 5, 2007.
- Pearson, Richard. “Debating Jomon Social Complexity.” Asian Perspectives 46, no.2 (2007): 361-388. Database on-line. Project Muse; accessed October 5, 2007.
- Japanese Pottery Dogu - Clay Figurines
- Bridge of dreams: the Mary Griggs Burke collection of Japanese art, a catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Jōmon pottery (see index)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jōmon Pottery.|