Honshu’s Pre-Agricultural Landscapes: Perspectives from Mt. Fuji and Toyama Bay


Pre-agricultural Japan experienced significant changes in its cultural and natural landscapes over some 30 millennia of human habitation and modification (ca. 34,000 to 2,300 calendar years BP). As an extensive period witnessing fundamental environmental and cultural changes, the pre-agricultural era was dynamic, with sub-periods of relative stability punctuated by episodes of rapid change in lifestyle, material culture, and environmental and cultural setting. This research compares and contrasts the development and change in cultural landscapes of Toyama Bay along the Japan Sea to that of Mt. Fuji near the Pacific Coast. Geographic analyses indicate that early hunter-gatherers clearly targeted ecological edge environments on the landscape that were the most diverse ecotones of the region; particularly the interface of coastal and alluvial plains to adjacent hills of the surrounding mountain ranges. Conversely, late hunter-gatherers shifted their land-use to the alluvial and coastal plains. However, early monumental architecture during the Jomon Period suggests that subsistence is only one part of the complex story of these ancient hunter-gatherers.

Cite this Record

Honshu’s Pre-Agricultural Landscapes: Perspectives from Mt. Fuji and Toyama Bay. Christopher Gillam, Junzo Uchiyama, Mark Hudson, Carlos Zeballos. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429391)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17445