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Human Adaptation and Natural Resource Usage in Prehistoric Southern Ryukyu islands, Southwestern Japan

Author(s): Kaishi Yamagiwa

Year: 2017

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Summary

This study aims to discuss about the strategy of prehistoric human adaptation to the island environment, especially focus on the natural resource usage. I introduce the case of southern part of Ryukyu islands—the southwestern part of Japan archipelago, where the first long-term human settlement had occurred about 4,300 years ago. Prehistoric people in southern Ryukyu islands had a unique material culture (absence of pottery, use of giant clam shell adzes), which was dissimilar to the surrounding cultural groups, like the Jomon culture of the Japan archipelago or the Neolithic culture, which spread from Taiwan to Southeast Asia. This suggests that the prehistoric southern Ryukyu islands had been generally isolated. On the other hand, their unique material culture may relate to the geological environment of their islands. I suggest that prehistoric people developed a strategy suitable for surviving in these island environments, and improved their own material culture to adapt to a new ecology.


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Human Adaptation and Natural Resource Usage in Prehistoric Southern Ryukyu islands, Southwestern Japan. Kaishi Yamagiwa. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431696)


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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): 15779

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America