WEFOUNDJapan, from Prehistory to Modern Times (Michigan Classics in Japanese Studies) by Hall, John Whitney published by University of Michigan Press Paperback


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The Japanese Paleolithic period ( 旧石器時代 , kyūsekki jidai ) is the period of human inhabitation in Japan predating the development of pottery, generally before 10,000 BCE [1] . The starting dates commonly given to this period are from around 40,000 BCE; [2] although any date of human presence before 35,000 BCE is controversial, with artifacts supporting a pre-35,000 BCE human presence on the archipelago being of questionable authenticity. [3] The period extended to the beginning of the Mesolithic Jōmon period , or around 14,000 BCE, [4]

The earliest human bones were discovered in the city of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture , which were determined by Radiocarbon dating to date to around 14,000–18,000 years ago.

The study of the Japanese Paleolithic period is characterized by a high level of stratigraphic information due to the volcanic nature of the archipelago: large eruptions tend to cover the islands with levels of Volcanic ash , which are easily datable and can be found throughout the country as a reference. A very important such layer is the AT ( Aira - Tanzawa ) pumice , which covered all Japan around 21,000–22,000 years ago.


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