Institute of East Asian Studies <- Back
The Ancient Jomon and the Pacific Rim
University of California-Berkeley
"Jomon" is the name of a prehistoric culture and period on the Japanese archipelago. Dating from about 16,000 to 2500 years ago, the Jomon culture is known for its artistic pottery, large settlements and complex ritual sites such as stone circles. Unlike most prehistoric pottery-using peoples in other parts of the world, the people of the Jomon period are thought to have been hunter-gatherer-fishers. It is also known that characteristics of the Jomon culture changed significantly through time, and between regions. By examining such temporal and regional variability, Jomon archaeology can contribute to understanding the Japanese past and the mechanisms of long-term culture change in human history.