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Research Seminar No.182, 23 October 2017
16:30-, The Interdivisional Education and Research Building, 5th Floor
「Archaeological study on the Gusuku period, focusing on the emergence of social complexity in the Ryukyu archipelagos」
SHINZATO Akito (Board of Education Isen Township)
The Ryukyu kingdom, established in 1429A.D, is also known as the trade nation. As the name implies, the kingdom established long distance exchange systems with Japan, China, and South East Asian countries. Archaeologists have always been interested in the state formation of the kingdom. Until recently, however, they have mainly focused on the Okinawa archipelago because of the abundant amount data available in the region. In order to understand the state formation of this kingdom, they have attempted to establish chronological orders of local pottery, earthenware, Kyushu and Chinese food serving goods. Based on the chronologies, archaeologists have successfully dated agricultural settlements and structures of castles. Consequently, the developmental stages of the state have been grasped in Okinawa archipelago. However, it is important to note that this developmental stage has been centered around only in the Okinawa since great amount of data available from the island where the center of the kingdom was located. Recently, we have slowly but steadily accumulated data from the Amami archipelago, locating north of Okinawa and the Sakishima islands, locating south of Okinawa. These data strongly indicate that the formation of the state cannot be adequately understood without considering these regions.
In this study, based on the chronology of the food serving goods, (which is used also for dating features and sites,) I will examine production, circulation, and consumption of food serving goods recovered from the Amami, Okinawa and Sakishima archipelagos. In other words, I will analyze the life cycle of food serving goods. In this category, the followings are included: local table ware produced in each islands, the Kamuiyaki pottery made in Tokunoshima, the soapstone cauldron manufactured in northwestern Kyushu, and Chinese ceramics. The analyses of these artifacts have elucidated the regionalities in these three archipelagos. I would like to examine how the economic situations changed and how it contributed to the emergence of the three kingdoms and finally to the formation of the Ryukyu kingdom.
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