Deep Bowl


Deep Bowl

Archaeology / Jomon / Iwate

Place excavated:Excavated at Karumai-cho, Iwate

Jomon period, 2,000-1,000 BC


現高29.0 口径約27.4 底径6.3


Jomon earthenware dates back around 13,000 years, when people first began living in fixed settlements on the Japanese archipelago. It was the first type of pottery to emerge in Japan. Jomon earthenware mainly takes the form of bowl-shaped vessels. It derives its name from the fact that these vessels commonly feature cord patterns, or jomon in Japanese.
Before this time, vessels were made from tree bark or animal skin, but eating habits changed drastically with the advent of earthenware receptacles that could hold water or be placed over fire. People could now consume food that couldn't be eaten raw or was too hard to eat without cooking.
Let's take a close look at this bowl. The rim features several protuberances and a number of decorative clay buttons. The surface is marked with a cord pattern. This has been rubbed out in parts, with a lattice design drawn on top. This kind of meticulous, ornate decorativeness is characteristic of Jomon earthenware. The bowl grows black toward the base. This is probably soot from when the vessel was heated over flames. The inside of the vessel contains traces where charred food once stuck to the surface.
The Jomon period lasted around 10,000 years. The shape and patterns of the earthenware underwent various changes during this time. Early vessels had tapered or rounded bases and featured hardly any patterns. The bases then flattened out and the vessels were decorated with various designs. During the mid-Jomon period, vessels grew larger and were heavily decorated. They subsequently grew smaller again and less garish, with the types of vessel also increasing. You can compare this bowl with other examples of Jomon earthenware to see how pottery changed throughout these different eras.

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