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Home > Permanent Exhibitions > Life in a Jomon Village

The Flame-style Pottery (National Treasure)

Life in a Jomon Village

Death and Burial

Oida Castle and Date-Hachimankan Ruins

Echigo Chijimi

Winter Tools

Echigo Angin

Silk Goods

Botanical Garden and Iseki Park

Life in a Jomon Village
The Jomon Period

Around 16,000 years ago in the midst of the long Ice age, humans led a nomadic lifestyle where they created pottery and used bows and arrows to hunt for food. Although we do not know how humans came to be able to create pottery, the reason that humans created the bow was because of big changes to how they hunted for animals.

Approximately 4,500 years later, when the temperature rose and the climate stabilized, humans abandoned their nomad life in favor of a settled way of life. This was because they were able to live in an environment blessed with forests, rivers and the ocean where they could get foods without having to move around in response to the changing seasons.

Supported by this new climate and conditions of finding food, the Jomon people grew in population and made many cultural developments over the following 10,000 year period. In the basin area of the Shinano River (current day Nagaoka City, Tokamachi City and Tsunan Town), population increase was particularly profound during Middle Jomon (2500-1500 BC). During this time people lived in networks of settlements and reached a cultural apex.

In was in this period that the flame-style pottery was created. These pottery vessels which have peculiar pattern work, are a sign of the high standard of life and technical ability of the time. They are a precious item of cultural heritage for the human race.

A Day in Autumn
@ From the Early Jomon period (approximately 11,500 years ago), the Jomon people began to live a settled life inside pit dwellings where they cooperated with one another in villages. This included creating pottery, hunting small animals and fish, foraging for edible plants and stockpiling food and fuel in the autumn and preserving and storing it to last through the winter.
A Day in Autumn
Middle Jomon Period
(Approximately 4,500 to 5,500 years ago)
Life in a Pit Dwelling
It is thought that a single pit-dwelling would accommodate a number of people, and while utilizing the spaces behind the pillars and beneath the ceiling to store foods and firewood, the Jomon people worked, cooked and ate meals around a central fireplace. Their daily tasks were far less spatially confined than they are in today's household. For this reason, the Jomon home was most likely a place for people to bond around the fireplace, and to pass on the wisdom of their ancestors.
Life in a Pit Dwelling
Middle Jomon Period
(Approximately 4,500 to 5,500 years ago)

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