15,000 Years of Success in Japan: The Jomon Niche

15,000 Years of Success in Japan: The Jomon Niche

Gary Crawford - Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Room 105, Anthropology See map
10 Sachem Street
New Haven, CT 06511

The Jomon period is a complex of cultures throughout Japan that existed for at least 15,000 years, ending in Hokkaido only 1300 or 1400 years ago. These cultures defy standard anthropological definitions of hunter-gatherers and farmers, being neither or both. In China, cultures transformed from hunter-gatherers to farmers, then to centralized states, in contrast to Japan where the Jomon changed modestly over its lifespan. Unlike the evolving cultures of their neighbors in China, the Jomon found a path of resilience rooted in a human ecology that forces us to question the very definition of what constitutes “nature.” Furthermore, a reevaluation of the history of the Ainu, the native people of northeastern Japan, is demanded.

Professor Gary Crawford is Professor of Anthropology from the University of Toronto, specializing in archaeobotany and environmental archaeology. His current focus is East Asia where he is investigating the origins and intensification of agriculture. He has also investigated human and plant interactions in eastern North America, mainly Ontario and Kentucky with his first field experience being a foray into the wilds of Wisconsin. For more information visit http://www.profgarycrawford.ca

Refreshments will be served

Sponsored by The Yale Council on Archeological Studies in collaboration with the Yale Council on East Asian Studies