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Edge-Ground and Waisted Axes in the Western Pacific Islands: Implications for an Example from the Yaeyama Islands, Southernmost Japan

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Title: Edge-Ground and Waisted Axes in the Western Pacific Islands: Implications for an Example from the Yaeyama Islands, Southernmost Japan
Authors: Anderson, Atholl
Summerhayes, Glenn
Keywords: Yaeyama Islands
Japan
polished waisted axe
Holocene colonization
LC Subject Headings: Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Oceania--Antiquities--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Citation: Anderson, A., and G. Summerhayes. 2008. Edge-Ground and Waisted Axes in the Western Pacific Islands: Implications for an Example from the Yaeyama Islands, Southernmost Japan. Asian Perspectives 47 (1): 45-58.
Series/Report no.: Volume 47
Number 1
Abstract: A flaked, ground, and waisted axe, discovered on Iriomote Island in the Yaeyama group, southernmost Japan, appears to be a unique find in Japanese prehistory. Its resemblance to waisted, edge-ground axes which, in Australia, are of Pleistocene age, and to similar artifacts of early Holocene age in New Guinea, as well as potential antecedents in the Pleistocene edge-ground axes of Honshu, invites questions about its significance. This is especially so because the Yaeyama Islands are regarded currently as having been first occupied by people during the Shimotabaru phase of Neolithic culture, beginning about 3800 B.P. Comparison with similar western Pacific artiĀ£1cts, and consideration of the eustatic history of the Yaeyamas, suggest that the Iriomote example might be of early Holocene age, although its origin within the late Holocene cannot be excluded. The find raises questions about the human history of the southern Ryukyu groups that demand further research. Keywords: Yaeyama Islands, Japan, polished waisted axe, Holocene colonization.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/17279
ISSN: 1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
0066-8435 (Print)
Appears in Collections:Asian Perspectives, 2008 - Volume 47, Number 1 (Spring)



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