Jōmon pottery is an ancient type of pottery which was made and used during the Jōmon period in Japan. The Jōmon period was from 14,000 – 300 BCE. The term Jōmon means rope patterned in Japanese, describing the patterns that are pressed into the clay.
Pottery that had been made during the Jōmon period is thought to be some of the oldest pottery in all of Japan.
The Jōmon period lasted until roughly 300 BCE. From there the period is divided into 6 individual parts; Incipient Jomon, Initial Jōmon, Early Jōmon, Middle Jōmon, Late Jōmon and Final Jōmon.
Characteristics Of The Pottery
The majority of the Jōmon pottery ever made all had rounded bottoms and the vessels are usually quite small. This shows that the vessels would usually be used to boil food and perhaps be shaped to fit into a fire. Later Jōmon pottery pieces were more elaborate, especially during the Middle Jōmon period, where the rims of pots became much more complex and decorated.
Jōmon Pottery Timeline
Incipient Jōmon (10,500 – 8000 BCE) ~
The incipient Jōmon period marks the change between the Stone Age and the New Stone Age ways of life. Archaeological findings tell us that people lived in simple surface homes and fed themselves using hunting and gathering. The civilisation of the Jōmon period made deep pottery cooking vessels with pointed bottoms and simple rope markings - among the oldest examples of pottery known in the world.
Initial Jōmon (8000 – 5000 BCE) ~
By this period, climate warming had. Around 10,000 BCE sea levels had risen so that the southern islands of Japan; Shikoku and Kyushu were separated from the main island of Honshu. The rise in temperature also increased the food supply which meant that the civilisation changed their diets and ate a whole lot more. Clues of this diet change were found in sea shell mounds from the ocean. Food and other essentials of life were collected and processed with the use of stone tools such as grinding rocks,