13 Feb 2023 15:45

Jōmon identities and worldviews, as seen through the lens of bodily adornment

Sala A, Ca’ Vendramin and Zoom Platform

Ilona Bausch, affiliate professor with LIAS, (Leiden Institute of Area Studies) at LeidenUniversity

Introduced by PhD Student Claudia Zancan, Student Association GESSHIN, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Registration available until February 12 at 8 p.m. (CET) through this link

This presentation introduces my ongoing research into prehistoric adornment in East Asia, re-examining assumptions about the roles of personal ornaments, with a special focus on the Jōmon period in the Japanese archipelago. The Jōmon period (c. 14.500—900/300 BCE) is characterised by a rich material culture, including elaborate ceramics, ritual artefacts, lacquer-ware, polished stone tools and jadeite objects. The society and worldview of Jōmon hunter-fisher-gatherers (who also practiced horticulture and arboriculture) is evident in their regionally and temporally diverse adornment styles. There is considerable variability in adornment practices as well. Excavations have yielded a treasure trove of information on bodily adornment practices, which show great regional and temporal diversity in type, use and social value. Several types of bodily adornment have been depicted on ceremonial clay figurines. While some adornment involved permanent modifications, the majority of evidence consists of removable ornaments. These are made of a wide variety of materials, such as animal bone and teeth; shells; lacquered wood; clay; stone, and rare and precious minerals such as jade and amber. Ornaments have been excavated from cemeteries, shell middens and across settlements, but only a very small percentage has been found in association with well-preserved human remains.
This presentation explores how bodily adornment could constitute and reflect elements of personal identity (for example related to gender, age, group membership, status, occupation), and could also have been used for spiritual practices (apotropaic magic, remembrance) and healing. Case studies focus on adornment practices at several sites from various phases of the Jomon period, making a brief interregional comparison with those at sites from the Early Neolithic Xinglongwa culture in Northeast China, and the Chulmun culture in the Korean Peninsula.


Organised in collaboration with Professor Silvia Vesco (Ca’ Foscari University), by Claudia Zancan, Sara Visani, Sara Piantella and Samuele Parisio, Student Association GESSHIN, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

For more information and reservations:
Instagram: gesshin_cafoscari 
Facebook: Gesshin – Associazione studentesca Università Ca’ Foscari 
Youtube: GESSHIN Ca' Foscari University


L'evento si terrà in inglese


Department of Asian and North African Studies, Student Association GESSHIN - Ca’ Foscari University of Venice


Poster 2025 KB
Poster / Series 2425 KB

Cerca in agenda