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Debating Jomon Social Complexity

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Title:Debating Jomon Social Complexity
Authors:Pearson, Richard
social complexity
show 3 moreburials
craft production
complex hunter-gatherers
show less
LC Subject Headings:Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Date Issued:2007
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Citation:Pearson, R. 2007. Debating Jomon Social Complexity. Asian Perspectives 46 (2): 361-88.
Series:Volume 46
Number 2
Abstract:People of the Jomon period (currently dated from about 14,000 B.C. to the first millennium B.C.) began to make lacquer ornaments as early as 7000 B.C. and by the fourth millennium B.C. were creating elaborately decorated, low-fired pottery vessels that appear to have been used for feasting. In the Final period of the Jomon, grave goods appear in a substantial percentage of burials. Without reliance on agriculture, Jomon people appear to have achieved a high level of social complexity. However, the evidence from a few case studies concerning lacquer, elaborate pottery, and burials seems to show that while part-time specialization provided a wealth of rich material culture, sustained hierarchy was not achieved and there was an emphasis on exchange and solidarity, as in other middle-range societies. This article reviews new material and debates. KEYWORDS: Jomon, Japan, social complexity, lacquer, ceramics, burials, craft production, complex hunter-gatherers.
ISSN:1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
0066-8435 (Print)
Appears in Collections: Asian Perspectives, 2007 - Volume 46, Number 2 (Fall)

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