The beginning of the new stone age is now dated to

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Unformatted text preview: npottery” people. The beginning of the New Stone Age is now dated to about 10,000 b.c., when there was a great warming in the Northern Hemisphere, much of the polar ice mass melted, and Japan evolved into an archipelago. In 2 The Emergence of Japanese Civilization the preceding Old Stone Age, people had shaped stones into tools by chipping or flaking or had even used stones as tools just as they found them. The main index marking the transition to the New Stone Age was the appearance, from about 10,000 b.c., of stone tools of much higher quality, including skillfully shaped and polished axes, knives, arrowheads, and fish hooks. Another major advance of the New Stone Age was the production of pottery; and indeed, archeologists now date the beginning of pottery making in Japan to the commencement of the age itself, or roughly 10,000 b.c. This means that, on the basis of what we know about the origins of pottery making in other countries, the Japanese (or the occupants of Japan during the New Stone Age) produced the world’s first pottery. It is possible that future finds on the Asian continent—for example, in China or Korea—will reveal pottery that antedates Japan’s and that even served as models for the New Stone Age potters of Japan. But, for the present, the Japanese stand as the first to have made pottery not only in East Asia but in the world. Japan’s New Stone Age pottery was earthenware shaped by hand in a process known as coiling, whereby clay is formed into a rope and a vessel is created by circling the rope around and around from the bottom up and then smoothing out the surface to disguise the “coiling.” The earliest type of pottery made in this manner was a simple, bullet-shaped cooking vessel that was apparently inserted into sand or soft earth. Later pieces were much more elaborate and had deeply impressed and intricate surface patterns, widely flared rims, and thick handlelike appendages (fig. 1). Because the most common pattern on New Stone Age pottery was achieved by impressing cord or rope into the soft clay, archaeologists have designated the New Stone Age itsel...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.

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