Dual Nature in the Creation of Disciplinary Identity: A Socio-historical Review of Palaeolithic Archaeology in Japan

Nakazawa, Yuichi
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University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
An expansion in archaeological excavations and site identifications over the last 30 years, particularly through an increase in salvage projects and the growth of government archaeology in Japan, has made the Japanese Islands one of the most dense regions of Palaeolithic archaeological sites in East Asia. The history of Pleistocene site discoveries and chronological frameworks for Palaeolithic lithic industries are summarized, followed by a critical review of research trajectories in the accumulation of a Palaeolithic record, specifically in terms of changes in relationships among academic archaeology, government archaeology, the public, and mass media. This article also attempts to clarify the peculiar structure of current Japanese archaeology that allowed the construction of a falsified Palaeolithic prehistory by some unscrupulous researchers for 20 years until its sensational exposure by a national daily in 2000.
Palaeolithic, Japan, government archaeology, academic archaeology, public archaeology, mass media, lithic industries
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