Prehistoric Human Impacts to Isands of Amami and Okinawa, Japan


Islands colonization by Homo sapiens is relatively recent phenomenon in the history of Homo sapiens (modern human or human afterwords). While modern human successfully colonized five continents by 10,000 years ago, only handful islands were colonized by 10,000 years ago. Most islands were successfully colonized after 10,000 years ago. Islands seem to be one of the most difficult environments for modern humans to successfully colonize. However, once Homo sapiens successfully colonized island environments, they greatly affected pristine island environment. They introduced new animal and plant species, over hunted animals, over harvested plants, modified natural forests, and so on. In many islands, such as islands in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Oceania, environmental changes have been recognized after human colonization. In the case of island archaeology, human impacts to island environments after successful colonization appears to be the "rule". We have attempted to trace human impacts to the islands of Amami and Okinawa, Japan for many years. However, our studies indicate that human impacts to these islands by humans after their successful colonization is not as obvious as other island cases. This might be very rare case in terms of island archaeology.

Cite this Record

Prehistoric Human Impacts to Isands of Amami and Okinawa, Japan. Hiroto Takamiya, Hitoshi Yonenobu, Taiji Kurozumi, Takeji Toizumi. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404602)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;