08 September, 2013

Kitakogane Shell Mound and Kamuitapukopushita site

From September 4th (Wed) to 7th (Sat), I conducted my surveys in Date city, Hokkaido. In these surveys, I took samples from stone tools at the Kitakogane Shell Mound and soil samples at the Kamuitapukopushita site

This survey was my 3rd survey of the Kitakogane Shell Mound, and the total number of my sampled stone tools are stood at 51 stones including grinding stones and stone querns, and natural stones.

Usually, after analysing more than 30 stone tools, I can interpret features of my surveyed sites.

Based on results of this survey, I aim to observe starch granules extracted from stone tools of the Kitakogane Shell Mound.

The Kamuitapukopushita site is located in Usu-cho, Date city, and shows living styles during
Kinsei ainu bunkaki (the 16-19 centuries

Outline of this site (URL: Japanese only)

About this year's survey (URL: Japanese only)

View of the Kamuitapukopushita site. The mound shows a buried space into the centre of this photo.
This survey aim was "Can I extract starch granules from soil samples of furrow remains dated at between 1640 and1663?", and I took soil samples of crop remains on furrows.

The black colour of stratigraphic profiles show fullow remains. These furrows are wedged between Tsunami deposits caused by the eruption of the Komagatake in 1640 and volcanic ash deposits by one of the Usuzan in 1643.

Thank to this research project leader and his colleagues, I can analyse soil samples in order to interpret crop plants cultivated on these furrows.
The black-colour circular part is a crop remain. This photo shows its sliced remain in half.

In this survey, 4 crop remains were discovered, and I took soil samples from these 3 remains.

Starch analysis of soil deposits is unexplored in Japanese archaeology. Compared with analysing residues on stone artefacts and pottery vessels, its methodology is not confirmed yet. Thus this work becomes my experimental study.

Can I find any starch granules extracted these soil samples?

First, I will add ultra pure water to samples without any chemicals, and start microscopic observations. Based on the results, I will think about some methods of starch extractions using chemicals.

Whole soils containing my sampled 3 crop remains were also taken for my study. In the future, we are planning to conduct various experiments.

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