New Evidence for Expansion of the Jomon Culture and the Ainu into the Kuril lslands: from IKIP 2000 Anthropological Research in the Kuril lslands

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Biodiversity and Biogeography of the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin vol.1

This article presents the results of our 2000 IKIP fieldwork and focuses on applying Japanese archaeological knowledge to the consideration of Kuril prehistory. The characteristics of the distribution of both Epi-Jomon and Okhotsk cultures based on ceramics excavated on Matua Island, Kama River site on Urup Island, and the Peschanaya Bay Site on Chirpoi Island in terms of culture history are described (Table 1). It was noteworthy for us to find terminal Jomon and Epi-Jomon cord-marked ceramics in the stratigraphy that extend the geographic distribution of this culture farther northeast in the Kuril Islands than had previously been known. The expansion of Epi-Jomon pottery into the middle part of the Kuril islands can be linked archaeologically with the rapid spread of the expansion of contemporary human settlement northward into Sakhalin and eastward into the Kuril Islands. Specifically, this article discusses the significance of this expansion during the Epi-Jomon period. This article also deals with the Kuril Ainu's sea mammal ritual that has previously been little researched. New evidence of the intentional arrangement of fur seal skulls according to their creed system in the animal ritual of the Ainu is antithetical to currently and widely accepted models of "the Bear Festival Complex" which assume that the bear festival occupies the core of Ainu culture (Watanabe 1972).



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