This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
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...
View Full Document
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.
- Spring '13