|Budget Amount *help
¥15,300,000 (Direct Cost : ¥15,300,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥4,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥4,100,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥5,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥5,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥6,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥6,000,000)
Takayama obsidian resources sites locate in Chiisagata district of Nagano prefecture. Takayama prehistoric sites research group of Meiji university has continually excavated Takayarna obsidian resource sites since 1984. In 1991, we discovered an obsidian mining site in the Jomon age at the Hosikuso pass. This report will touch on an outline of the research and study on the obsidian mining sites conducted through 1995 into 1998.
In the Jomon age, obsidian was mined between the Hosikuso pass and mountain side of Mt. Musikura. Numerous ground depressions in the form of craters can be observed on the land surface even now. Measurements of all depressions (field researches in 1992, 93 and 98) show that there are 195 obsidian mining marks, "Saikutu-ri", in total, and that distribution of them is about 43, OOOrri as a whole. All over the area has a topography dug up and reconstructed in the Jornon age.
By the way, the result of investigating undergr&und deposits by boring-stick at Hosikuso pass
, there have been some piles of earth and sand dumped at the mining around 3 meters deep at the most on a col of the Hosikuso pass. Then, present flat land form of the Pass is artificial, which was made by Jomon peoples mining activities and accumulation of earth and sand dumped by them at that time. Our group succeeded to turn up one of mining pits as it was shaped at excavation area B-I in 1997 - The shape of 01st mining pit is oval in a bird's-eye view and about 2.5 meters deep. A way of mining pit digging is as follows. First, they dug a wide and shallow hole in ground. Next, they excavated almost vertically aiming toward obsidian deposit. Finally, they mined obsidian after boring small holes of around 50 cm across or a kind of tunnels.
The excavation area B-I including 01st mining pit and some other features, yielded many fragments of Jomon pottery made in incipient period of the Jomon age (around 9,000-10,000 years ago). We suppose that Jomon people could have already begun obsidian mining activities in that period. Careful investigation must be needed, however, because it is extremely early period as the beginning of mining underground resources (raw materials for stone tools) from the view point of world prehistory.
We were able to turn up tens of thousands of stone debris industry made from obsidian at the excavation area B-i. Obviously Jomon people processed obsidian raw materials mined in the mining pits on the spots. Then, they carried a part of industry out to areas neighboring Takayama as materials for stone tools (arrowheads, some kinds of scrapers and so on).
Jomon people at Talcayarna used "Bipolar technique" for processing obsidian raw materials. The excavation area B-I yielded more than 400 of anvil stones and hammer stones to percuss obsidian raw materials.
Palaeolithic people who visited Takayama sites about 15,000 years ago quarried obsidian raw materials fallen down from the Hosikuso pass, and made myriad stone tools with it. On the other hand, Jomon people mined obsidian raw materials under the ground, and made many stone tools as well. Thus, we can trace big change in prehistoric technology from surface quarrying to mining underground of raw materials in Takayama obsidian resource sites. Takayanxa obsidian mining sites were one of Japanese "Prehistonc mines Less