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BHAP International Workshop: 'Early Pottery in Northeast Asia' on March 8-10, 2012, Sakhalin.

April 1, 2012

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: 'EARLY POTTERY IN NORTHEAST ASIA'

Международный семинар «Вопросы изучения древнейшей керамики Северо-Восточной Азии (X-V тыс. д. н. э.) методами археологии и естественных наук». Сахалинский государственный университет (СахГУ), 8-13 марта 2012 года.
Website: http://www.archaeologysakhalin.ru/
[main workshop materials/photos are currently being loaded up]

Hosted by:

• A.A. Vasilevski / Sakhalin Laboratory of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Sakhalin State University

Co-organizers:

• Prof. A.V. Vasilevski (Sakhalin State University)
• Prof. Hirofumi Kato (Hokkaido University / BHAP)
• Prof. Peter Jordan (University of Aberdeen / BHAP)

International Travel:

• International delegation (Japan/UK) flew into Sakhalin from Sapporo Chitose, Hokkaido (7th-14th March 2012)

RESEARCH GOALS AND GENERAL OVERVIEW

The emergence of pottery is one of the most important questions in Old World archaeology. Traditionally linked to the rise of settled farming communities in the Middle East, it is now clear that the world's oldest pottery emerged among hunter-gatherers in East Asia during phases of sudden climatic and environmental change.

This international workshop assembled researchers from Russia, UK and Japan and focused on current research into Late Pleistocene / Holocene hunter-gatherer archaeology and palaeoenvironments in Honshu, Hokkaido, Sakhalin, the Amur and in Eurasia more generally. It aimed to:

• Present and discuss recent archaeological data and materials from across NE Asia / Eurasia
• Critically review current models for (a) the emergence of pottery, (b) the Palaeolithic/Neolithic transition in NE Asia, and more generally, (c) explore the suite of cultural and technological responses by prehistoric hunter-gatherers to climate-change in the post-glacial environments of NE Asia.
• Review how some of these current research hypotheses/models can now be tested using new scientific methods and approaches (e.g. organic residue analysis of early pottery wares to reconstruct dietary patterns and adaptations).
• To take this agenda forwards, specialists also worked with local collections and sampled Early Neolithic pottery from across Sakhalin.
• In order to understand the landscape and environmental contexts of Sakhalin's early/Middle Neolithic archaeology, the group also visited sites and research centres located on the shores of the Okhotsk Sea, SE Sakhalin.

WORKSHOP: PARTICIPANTS, PAPERS AND PROGRAM

Main Conference (8-10th March 2012):

Summary of Research Papers:

• A.V. Vasilevski (Sakhalin Lab. of Arch. and Ethnog. RAS.): Opening Address and welcome / Sakhalin Archaeology in Northeast Asian Context
• Peter Jordan (Aberdeen University): Early Pottery Origins and Dispersals in Northern Eurasia: Current Insights and Future Research Questions
• I.A. Shewkomud (Khabarovsk Regional Museum): Early Pottery and the Osipovka Culture of the Lower Amur, Russian Far East
• Kevin Gibbs (Aberdeen University): Comparative Insights into Early Pottery in the Middle East / Ceramic Analysis in NE Asia: Technology, Use and Provenance [2 papers]
• Hirofumi Kato (Hokkaido University): Jomon Origins in Hokkaido and Northeast Asia
• Tetsuhiro Tomoda (Asahikawa Archaeological Research Centre): Review of Jomon Pottery in NW Hokkaido
• Toshiro Yamahara (Obihiro City Museum): Early Hunter-Gatherer Pottery in Northeast Hokkaido
• V.A. Grishchenko (Sakhalin Lab. of Arch. and Ethnog. RAS.): New Research into the Early Neolithic of Sakhalin Island
• I.A. Samarin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Museum): Early Jomon Archaeology of the Kurils
• O.A. Shubina (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Museum): Middle Jomon Archaeology of the Kurils

Discussant:

• A.N. Popov (Director of Museums, Far Eastern National University, Vladivostok).

Also present:

• Ren Iwanami (MA student, Hokkaido University); local Sakhalin archaeologists/students.

Other Research Activities:

• Whole group: (a) general work/discussion of local/regional pottery collections and (b) sampling Early/Middle/Late Neolithic pottery from Sakhalin for surface and absorbed organic residues (11th March 2012)
• Whole group: visit to sites and archaeological research centre on shores of Okhotsk Sea Coast (12th-13th March 2012).

For research outcomes and links to BHAP, academic dissemination and public outreach, and other outcomes, please click here for a full report.

 

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