Seventeen archaeological sites located in northern Japan and dating from the Jômon period – a pre-agricultural but sedentary culture that developed from 13,000 BCE – were inscribed on Tuesday as a World Heritage Site. Unesco.
Distributed between the north of the big island of Honshu and the south of that of Hokkaido, these sites “constitute a unique testimony of the development, over a period of 10,000 years, of the pre-agricultural yet sedentary Jômon culture, of its complex system of spiritual beliefs and its rituals, ”Unesco explained.
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The Jômon were a sedentary hunter-gatherer society, which developed from around 13,000 BCE, shortly after the end of the Ice Age. The appearance of pottery marks the entry into this era, which takes its name from patterns obtained on clay by printing cords.
Many objects dating from this period testify to a particularly refined know-how, even for everyday utensils (pottery for cooking and storing food, axes, woven wooden baskets, hooks, etc.). The spiritual dimension of the Jômon materialized by lacquered pots, clay tablets with the imprint of feet and terracotta statuettes (dogu) mainly female.
The Jomons had also developed ritual sites, “such as earthen structures and large stone circles reaching diameters of more than 50 meters”, also recalled Unesco. This Monday, about 42,700 hectares of humid forests spread over four islands in southwestern Japan (Amami-Oshima, Tokunoshima, Iriomote and northern part of the island of Okinawa) had already joined the UNESCO World Heritage list. for the richness of their biodiversity.