Isu ISU Archaeologists’ Findings on Rebun Island (Japan)
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ISU Archaeologists’ Findings on Rebun Island (Japan)
18 September 2015
01

Dmitry Lokhov, a researcher of Archaeology, Ethnology and Ancient History department, told about ISU delegation’s participation in the Rebun Archaeological Field School (Japan). This school was conducted under the Russian-Japanese joint program RJE3 (East Russia–Japan Expert Education Program).

Sergey Kuznetsov, a professor of World History and International Relations department, Dmitry Lokhov, a researcher of Archaeology, Ethnology and Ancient History department, Ilya Ulanov, a master-degree student of History faculty, and Ekaterina Samoilova, a master-degree student of Biology and Soil studies faculty, were invited to visit the Rebun Archaeological Field School.

Dmitry Lokhov told that the fieldworks were held at the multilayer site Khamanaka-2 that is located on the shore of the Sea of Japan. The site Khamanaka-2 has been explored for 5 years, and it should be noted that all the excavations are conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Hokkaido University (Sapporo, Japan), Tokio University (Japan), Keio University (Tokio, Japan), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), the National Museum of Denmark and the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada).

The site Khamanaka-2 has nine levels of archaeological remains ranging from the so-called ainu period up to the Late Jomon Epoch (3500 years ago).  For example, Layer 2 dates back to Satsumon culture. Layers 3 and 4 refer to the Okhotsk culture of the early Iron Age. Layers 7-9 represent the culture of late Jomon period (2000 – 3500 years ago).

ISU archaeologists explored levels 5-8 and managed to find a lot of archaeological remains - stone and bone tools, stone-works waste, ceramic vessels fragments, dog’s mandibula, great number of animal bones, some of them left unidentified, and special tools made from whale bones. Sifting soil we explored the site meter by meter, waste soil was kept in plastic bags, - Dmitry Lokhov noted.

All the findings were classified into two categories – commonplace findings and those of special importance. Findings specified as having great significance - vessel fragments and identified bones - were kept in special bags. All the findings are to be scrutinized in labs. The results of findings analysis will be announced later.

Ilya Ulanov, a master-degree student, commented on his experience in participation in the international expedition:

– It was extremely interesting for us to take part in the archaeological field school and meet colleagues from such countries as Japan, the USA, Canada and Denmark. We had many discussions and shared our experience. It should be noted that foreign colleagues have a different approach to excavations, but I can say that Siberian archaeologists get used to exploring the layers in a more intensive way.

Rebun island is a very small territory in the Sea of Japan, and it is not a well-developed land so far. On the coastal line there are many villages, and local people are mainly engaged in fishing. We were living in one of such villages. We were astonished with nature and landscapes of Rebun island as well as local food.

Reference

Irkutsk State University has been a member of RJE3 (“East Russia–Japan Expert Education”) Program Consortium since October 2014. The five-year-program is aimed at training highly skilled specialists that are capable of playing leading roles in the spheres of education, environmental sustainability, culture and development in Siberia and the Far East.

Under the program, master and post-graduate students from Hokkaido University and 5 Russian Universities - Irkutsk State University, Far Eastern Federal University (Vladivostok), North-Eastern Federal University (Yakutsk), Sakhalin State University (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) and Pacific State University (Khabarovsk) have opportunity to take part in lecture courses by leading Japanese and Russian scholars as well as field schools. 

 

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