Vol.62 No.2（246）,September, 2015
STATEMENT FROM THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY: On the
Argument about Education and Research in Humanities and Social Sciences of
the National University Corporations
PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE 61st ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY:
ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES IN INTER-DISCIPLINARY APPROACHES, Part 1
- New possibilities in archaeological research enabled by oxygen isotope dendrochronology
- NAKATSUKA Takeshi
Abstract: Oxygen isotope dendrochronology, which utilizes tree-ring cellulose oxygen isotope ratios instead of tree-ring width, is a new tree-ring dating method applicable to wood samples with smaller numbers of rings, irrespective of tree species. Tree-ring oxygen isotope ratios can also serve as an index of the paleoclimate, through the two meteorological factors of precipitation isotope ratios and relative humidity, enabling accurate reconstructions of summer precipitation. Annually resolved master chronologies of tree-ring oxygen isotope ratios, one of which extends back 4300 years, have already been established throughout Japan, and their spatiotemporal coverage is being continuously improved. So far, these master chronologies have been utilized to date various old architectural and archaeological wooden materials, proving reliable as a means for determining age by the same statistical methods used for traditional dendrochronology. Two disadvantages have become clear, however, in comparison with dendrochronology based on tree-ring width and with radiocarbon dating : oxygen isotope dendrochronology cannot be applied to highly degraded wood in which the cellulose fiber has been lost, and it also involves greater destruction of the wood samples to obtain sufficient material for cellulose extraction. Nevertheless, the pattern of variation in the amount of summer rainfall seen in the oxygen isotope master chronology indicates the possibility that in the Late Yayoi, and again in the Late Kofun periods, the magnitude of variation in precipitation was enlarged in the period of multi-decades, with the resulting prolonged flooding or drought accompanied by severe societal reactions. Hereafter, through oxygen isotopic tree-ring dating and comparisons in units of single years of materials such as rice paddy boards, irrigation ditch stakes, and pit-dwelling pillars, it becomes possible to conduct entirely new archaeological research on prehistoric relationships between changes in precipitation and social responses, such as the building of water management and utilization works, or the relocation of settlements.Key words dendrochronology; oxygen isotope ratio; cellulose; climate variation; precipitation.
- The Pleistocene-Holocene transition and human activity: Current state and issues of interdisciplinary research
- FUJIYAMA Ryūzō
Abstract:: This report aims to review the current state and issues of interdisciplinary research, and give an outlook for the future of archaeology in this field. In this regard, the discussion will give more weight to the contribution’s subtitle. Archaeology in recent years has strengthened its links with other fields, and is advancing into areas where independent work is difficult. There can be little doubt that crossover research will continue to open up new fields in the future. Nevertheless, at the same time a kind of “coming apart at the seams” is also becoming conspicuous. Cases of overhasty discussion are increasingly seen now and again, in which the results of related fields are interpreted in an opportunistic manner and quickly applied to archaeological phenomena without sufficient preparation. While such cases may appear cutting-edge, in reality they cannot really be called sound links to other fields. On this occasion the author is privileged to address the topic of “Environmental change and human activity,” and offers the following two proposals for the future of interdisciplinary research. (1) In order to use effectively various research results, including reconstructions of the paleoenvironment and chronological dating, we should first promote basic archaeological procedure in steady fashion. (2) Rather than falling into a pattern of one-sided borrowing from the outside, archaeology and analytic sciences as a whole should give priority to basic research. In the midst of overcoming these hurdles in positive fashion, higher levels of interdisciplinary research should ultimately be reached.Key words the future of archaeology; interdisciplinary research; natural environment; chronological dating; analytic science.
- Volcanic disaster research using archaeological methods: Explosive volcanic eruptions of the 10th century, and human activities in the northernTohoku region
- MARUYAMA Koji
Abstract:: In this paper we present the achievements of a case study of two 10th-century widespread areas of tephra in the northern Tohoku region to demonstrate how employing archaeological methods more extensively can overcome the multiple problems associated with volcano disaster research. Although the importance of volcanic tephra detection in contemporary archeology is widely recognized, the progress of volcanic disaster research is limited and discussion on the use of wide area tephra has been delayed. The cause is in the sedimentological insufficiency of volcanic tephra as a chronological indicator. To resolve this situation, a re-organization of all elements and aspects of wide area tephra is necessary in order to create uniform standard which will lead to holistic volcano disaster research. The methods from both volcanology and archaeology when used together in interdisciplinary research, are able to identify when a volcanic eruption becomes a human disaster. There is the method that can answer “volcanic eruption events as a disaster” even if method itself is a classic method, and it is the interdisciplinary research that connects the volcanology and archeology.
Key words 10th century; northern Tohoku region; tephra; sedimentary features; volcanic disaster research.
- The end of Jomon clay figurines
- KANEKO Akihiko
Abstract: I attempt to create a chronology for clay figurines dating to the Yayoi period, from the northern part of the Tohoku region, focusing on the continuity of styles, by the use of the most recent results from the research into pottery chronology. These figurines are separated into two varieties; figurines with styled hair, and figurines with an indented-dot pattern. Both styles were diversified at the end of the Early Yayoi period, but decreased in number suddenly during the Middle Yayoi period. In the southern part of this region, figurines with styled hair disappeared in the early Middle Yayoi period, however, in the northern part of this region that style continued until the middle of the Middle Yayoi period but soon after that disappeared. Contemporaneously, in the southern part of this region, figurines resembling those in the northern part appeared and disappeared during the early Late Yayoi period. We can regard this as a consequence of the movement of people towards a place where they could cultivate rice, and this suggests that the disappearance of Jomon clay figurines was not due to the impact of rice agriculture.Key words the northern Tohoku region; Yayoi period; figurines with styled hair; disappearance of Jomon clay figurines; impact of rice agriculture.
REPORTS, NEWS AND APPEALS
- Observation of the Gobyōno tumulus
- SUGIMOTO Hiroshi
- A report of the third public opening day of the conservation laboratory for the murals of the Takamatsuzuka and Kitora tomb sites
- TAKATA Ken’ichi and SUGIMOTO Hiroshi
- Sixty two years together with the Tsukinowa tumulus
- SUNAMI Katsuhiro
- Artistic Landscape of Archaeology 1: What is ‘art and archaeology’?
- MURANO Masakage and OKAMURA Katsuyuki
- ŌTSUBO Yukiko. A Study of the Jomon Beads Culture
- MIZUNOE Kazutomo
- KAWABATA Jun. Ancient History as told by the Arms
- TOYOSHIMA Naohiro
- TSUNO Jin. Military Armament and its Genealogy in Ancient Japan
- HASHIMOTO Hidemasa
- The Society for ancient settlement studies in northern Tohoku, ed. Factual Study of the Northern Tohoku World as Seen from the Pottery Chronology of the 9th-11th Century and Attributes of Settlement Sites
IN THE DAWN OF THE SOCIETY
- Interview with KITANI Yoshinori: The Society, Okayama and Me
- Interviewer: HAMADA Nobumitsu
MEMORIES OF THE SOCIETY
SIXTY YEARS OF THE SOCIETY SEEN FROM THE PUBLICATIONS 2
- Trành Kênh prehistoric stone bead making site, Håi Phòng, Vietnam
- Nguyễn Thi ̣Kim Dung and YOSHIDA Yasuyuki
- Excavation of the Satadani mounded tombs in Shōbara-shi, Hiroshima prefecture
- Shōbara City Board of Education
May and July 2015
A report of attendance at the Regional Meeting of the Society of Archaeological Studies in Kansai
- Newly established permanent exhibition corner for cultural properties in Tosu City Library, Saga prefecture
- TOKUDOMI Kōichi