01 September, 2014

Funkawan Jomon Project

From August 22nd to 29th, I joined in our summer surveys of the Funkawan Jomon Project "Initial Research Project about Jomon cultures around the coast of Funkawan (Volcano Bay) in Hokkaido" (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), Project no. 26284125) held in the Date City Institute of Funkawan Culture. In this summer, we excavated the Wakkaoi Shell Mound in Date city. On 23rd, we discussed our research plans.

On 24th, we looked at the excavation area of the Wakkaoi Shell Mound. The centre of the left photo shows our excavation area.

The Wakkaoi Shell Mounds were previously surveyed by Iwao Mineyama, Teruo Takeda and their colleagues in 1950-1952.

Our survey result confirmed Mineyama's excavation trench (see the left photo). Also we found these shell layers in earlier Jomon were very thick (see the right photo). From a shell layer, grinding stones were unearthed, and we took residue samples from one stone tool.

A small spring spot flows near this site, and the water supplies the local residents during the site occupation periods. Still now this water supply seems to be rich. The Wakkaoi site is located next to a cattle ranch, and this field area was also a part of the site. We found some grinding stones near this field.

From 25th to 28th, we took residue samples from grinding stones of the Kitakogane Shell Mounds. The Kitakogane Shell Mounds is another important site into our cooperative research project. Since 2011, I have conducted starch residue analyses of grinding stone tools, and in this time, Dr. Nobuhiko Kamijo and I examined residue samples of these stone tools.

Indeed, from our survey of the Wakkaoi Shell Mounds in this summer, just a small number of grinding stones were excavated, and we needed to make our analysing plans in this Funkawan area. As the result, we decided to observe another Jomon sites in Hakodate city on 26th.

On 26th, we went to see the Kakinoshima B and Ofune sites in Hakodate city. During our visit, we looked at archaeological materials excavated by the Yagi project in 1980's. The Yagi project was conducted by Dr. G. W. Crawford and his colleagues in Hokkaido (Yagi is a name of the Jomon site), and they practiced macrobotanical analyses including flotation techniques, which formed one basis of Japanese archaeobotanical studies.

We also observed the excavation of the Kakinoshima B site. If possible, we are able to analyse residue samples of grinding stones found from this site next year. 

After hearing an explanation of this excavation, we moved to a site park at the Ofune site. From this site, many grinding stone tools were found, but most of them were just exposed for their storage. So these stone tools were not appropiate for our works.

On 27-28th, I continued to take samples from stone tools of the Kitakogane Shell Mounds. Now I have finished taking samples from more than 70 stones. Can I find any starch granules showing much better conditions in my previous analysis?

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