torihama

New insights into why pottery production increased significantly at the end of the last Ice Age

Archaeologists at the University of York, leading a large international team, have revealed surprising new insights into why pottery production increased significantly at the end of the last Ice Age - with culture playing a bigger role than expected.

Investigating the use and expansion of hunter-gatherer pottery in Japan, home to some of the earliest pottery in the world, researchers analysed 143 ceramic vessels from Torihama, an ancient site in western Japan.

Pottery is thought to have originated in Japan around 16,000 years ago, but the numbers produced vastly increased 11,500 years ago, coinciding with a shift to a warmer climate. As resurgence in forests took place, an increase in vegetation and animals led to new food sources becoming available. Read more.