Institutional Research Projects

Understanding Lifeways and Biocultural Diversity in Prehistoric Japan

Sannai Maruyama National Historic Park

Sannai Maruyama National Historic Park

Co-Principal Investigators: Junko Habu and Sabrina Agarwal

The goal of this project, funded by the Luce Initiative on East Asian Archaeology and Early History 2007-2010, is to understand past lifeways and biocultural diversity of the early residents of the Japanese archipelago. The focus is to infer changes over time and regional variability in subsistence, settlement, society and health conditions of prehistoric Jomon hunter-gatherers of Japan (ca. 14,500-300 B.C.). This project consists of five parts:

  • Collaborative field/laboratory research and field school at the Early and Middle Jomon period Sannai Maruyama site in Aomori, northern Japan
  • Comparative studies of Jomon data from northern, central and western Japan
  • Bioarchaeological analysis of Jomon skeletal material
  • Workshops to discuss the results of these sub-projects in the context of East Asian archaeology and other related fields, and
  • New course development on East Asian archaeology, bioarchaeology, history and art history that will help us integrate the results of this project into our teaching program
Excavation at Sannai Maruyama

Excavation at Sannai Maruyama

With its unique combination of both large-scale archaeological field and laboratory research, along with bioarchaeological data, the project offers an exciting opportunity to test contemporary archaeological theories with a large body of data and cutting-edge methodology.

For details of this project, go to the Department of Anthropology.