Distinctive “tanged” or “pendant” scrapers are characteristic of stone tool technology in Jomon period Japan. The lengthy Jomon tradition (c. 14,500–300 BC) is known for its elaborate early pottery, large settlements, and long-distance trade. Jomon communities were entirely or largely dependent on wild plant and animal subsistence resources. Jomon tanged scrapers, such as the artifact shown here, could have been used for processing animal hides or plants. This artifact comes from the Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture in western Japan. Professor Sesuke Sugihara of Meiji University donated the scraper to the Museum in 1959 as part of a small collection of representative Jomon period artifacts. In return for the collection, the Museum waived the $300 fee for the radiocarbon dating of a charcoal sample Sugihara had submitted to the University’s Radiocarbon Laboratory.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.