<Articles>Typological Sequence of the Hoe: Production of Wooden Artifacts in the Kinki Region in Early Agrarian Society

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  • <論説>広鍬の編年 : 近畿地方における初期農耕社会の木器生産
  • 広鍬の編年 : 近畿地方における初期農耕社会の木器生産
  • コウクワ ノ ヘンネン : キンキ チホウ ニ オケル ショキ ノウコウ シャカイ ノ モッキ セイサン

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Abstract

Wooden farming tools have been indispensable in academic discussions of the diffusion and development of agriculture because these tools supported the economic infrastructure of during the initial stage of agrarian society. As farming tools in particular are directly linked to farming methods, they have affected how we think about agricultural production capacity. Moreover, as we can easily find unfinished hoes, they play a major role in arguments about the production system. However, we must depend on the associated pottery to date these hoes. Because the relationship between these artifacts is unclear as it is based on the estimated dating of the pottery, practical debate has been hindered. A criterion for dating wooden artifacts exclusively is needed to overcome these negative circumstances. Thus, in this article I have created a typology of this important farming implement, the hoe, and constructed a chronology. The methodology is as follows; the hoe consisted of several independent constituent parts and each of them changed typologically. As an individual artifact is represented by a set of contemporary constituent parts, we can retrace changes in the hoe through the changes in the combinations. We can elucidate changes in production technique by examining the production process through an analysis of unfinished items. I indicate the mutual integration of changes in production technique and form and finally verify the set of seriations based on the associated pottery. A chronology based on the form of the hoe was completed through this process. The target area of this study was the Kinki region where many artifacts have been excavated. The production process for the hoe can be divided into five stages; the lumbering of timber, sawing the wood, designing the layout of parts, separating out the parts, and finishing the tool. Changes over time can be seen in the layout stage. In carving the bulge in which the handle is inserted, each bulge was carefully made at first, but the work gradually became cruder. It can be assumed that the intention was to save labor in shaving by using large tools. On the other hand, a typological analysis shows that all constituent attributes, with the exception of the silhouette, changed serially. This change is consistent with the change in the production technique. If each seriation of attributes is correct, we can regard artifacts that have a common form as contemporary, and can understand the relationship between types. This seriation can be divided into four phases. The hoe is thought to have been introduced into the Kinki region at the start of the Yayoi period, approximately 8000 years ago. Phase 1 corresponds to the Early Yayoi period, when both the production technique and form were standardized. Phase 2 corresponds to the early part of Middle Yayoi period, when the form was modified to improve functionality and the production process began to be simplified. At the same time, the original form was ultimately simplified leading to the production of a new form. In this phase the arrangement of the layout became variegated and the criteria for production was relaxed. Phase 3 corresponds to the latter part of Middle Yayoi period, when the criteria for production were strengthened and stages in the production process changed. This technical transition may demonstrate a turning point in the production system. Phase 4 corresponds to the Late Yayoi period and thereafter, when almost all hoes have devices that have been carved with iron tools. As it is thought that few people had access to iron tools during the Yayoi period, an intensive production system may have established. It has been pointed out that such a production system is seen in some refined products, and we anticipate that the system used for common tools will also be clarified.

Journal

  • 史林

    史林 101 (3), 465-503, 2018-05-31

    THE SHIGAKU KENKYUKAI (The Society of Historical Research), Kyoto University

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