Asian Perspectives, 2010 - Volume 49, Number 2 (Fall)

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    49:2 Table of Contents - Asian Perspectives
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2010)
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    The Palaeolithic Exploitation of the Lithic Raw Materials and the Organization of Foraging Territory in Northeastern Japan
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2010) Yoshikawa, Kohtaro
    This paper explores the organization of foraging territories of populations in early Upper Palaeolithic northeastern Japan. First, a chronology is established for the region, outlining three stages known as chronological stages 1 to 3. This is followed by a discussion of the role of trapezoids and knife-shaped blades, lithic raw materials (especially locally available siliceous shale), and their environments in understanding lithic technology, food procurement strategies, and lithic resource exploitation in each chronological stage. Various site types are categorized by examination of tool composition, procurement and consumption of foods, and lithic raw materials in each site. The results of this analysis indicate that foraging territories have been reorganized three times, corresponding with each chronological stage. Transformations in foraging territories are associated with changing tool types, lithic technology, exploitation of lithic raw materials, and food procurement strategies, representing the adaptation of human populations to environmental fluctuation in early Upper Palaeolithic.
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    Transitions in the Early Upper Palaeolithic: An Examination of Lithic Assemblages on the Musashino Upland, Tokyo, Japan
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2010) Yamaoka, Takuya
    This article explains lithic assemblage transitions during the Early Upper Palaeolithic (EUP) on the Musashino Upland by quantitative comparisons of lithic raw materials, core reduction (blade technology), and formal tool production. The results suggest that changes in aspects of lithic assemblage variability could be explained by changes in raw material utilization, not developments (sophistication of tool-making skills) in blade technology and methods of formal tool production. The results also indicate the possibility that the changes in lithic raw material would have been affected by changes in residential mobility and the foraging territorial scale of EUP hunter-gatherers, as well as the changes in organic raw material utilization in whole technological organization in various environmental settings during the EUP. Beside them, the characteristics of the lithic assemblages in Period I as the initial EUP assemblages in this region are different from general characteristics of Upper Palaeolithic assemblages (blade technology, standardized and formal flaked tools) in Eurasia. The nature of lithic raw material utilization, especially flaked tool use, in Period I assemblages looks extremely expedient. Therefore, the characteristics of initial EUP assemblages in this region represent that diversity in lithic raw material utilization and technological organization was present during the EUP.
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    Use Angle and Motional Direction of End Scrapers: A Case Study of the Palaeolithic in Hokkaido, Japan
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2010) Takase, Katsunori
    This article examines the direction of tool movement of end scrapers used by Palaeolithic peoples for hide-working in the Japanese Islands. Specimens are approximately 400 end scrapers from three sites dated to the first half of the late Palaeolithic in Hokkaido, northern Japan. As a result of examination using a method combining the high-power approach of lithic use-wear analysis with a replication technique for measuring the edge angle and the use angle, it was clarified that end scrapers were used only for hideworking. They were classified into four groups: (1) relatively short end scrapers used in a pulling motion (group A); (2) relatively short end scrapers used in a pushing motion (group B); (3) relatively long and large end scrapers used in a pulling motion (group C); and (4) relatively long and large end scrapers used in a pushing motion (group D). Groups B and D (i.e., for pushing motion) are dominant among whole specimens. This study will contribute significantly to the investigation of tool use strategies, curation systems, and the reduction sequences of end scrapers when compared with results of techno-morphological research. At the same time, the methodology performed for this article enabled to change of needs for hide products in prehistoric society.
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    Refitted Material and Consideration of Lithic Reduction Sequence among the Microblade Assemblages: A View from the Okushirataki-1 Site, Hokkaido, Northern Japan
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2010) Yakakura, Jun
    In this article, I attempt to reconstruct the lithic reduction sequence of the microblade assemblage from the Okushirataki-1 site, Hokkaido, northern Japan, and to discuss the relationship between the technological variability of lithic reduction sequences and the morphological features of lithic raw materials, through with the assessment of numerous refitted materials. In terms of results, the refitted materials from this assemblage show that the detaching of microblades inevitably connects with the removal of blades in the course of the reduction sequence. Additionally, the presence and content of core preparations or rejuvenations on the flaked surfaces may have a significant role in the formation of variety among the blade and microblade reduction sequences. Therefore, it is not appropriate to compare the lithic assemblages and examine inter-site variability only through the analysis of morphological attributes reflected in the reduction sequence, which has been the focus of previous techno-typological approaches.