On 27 July 2021, The World Heritage Committee added 13 cultural sites to UNESCO’s World Heritage List including the Jomon Era Archeological Sites of Northern Japan. These additions were made during the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China, which is examining nominations from both 2020 and 2021.
The Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan are located in Hokkaido and northern Tohoku regions in the Japanese archipelago. There are 17 sites in all, featuring remnants (e.g., settlements, shell middens, wetlands) that provide vivid insights into Jomon people’s living situations as well as numerous monuments (e.g., stone circles, earthwork burial circles) that highlight the rituals and spiritual activities performed in different phases of the Jomon period (Incipient, Initial, Early, Middle, Late, and Final).
The UNESCO World Heritage describes the newly inscribed site: “[The sites] bear a unique testimony to the development over some 10,000 years of the pre-agricultural yet sedentary Jomon culture and its complex spiritual belief system and rituals. It attests to the emergence, development, maturity, and adaptability to environmental changes of a sedentary hunter-fisher-gatherer society which developed from about 13,000 BCE. Expressions of Jomon spirituality were given tangible form in objects such as lacquered pots, clay tablets with the impression of feet, the famous goggle-eyed dogu figurines, as well as in ritual places including earthworks and large stone circles reaching diameters of more than 50 metres. The serial property testifies to the rare and very early development of pre-agricultural sedentism from emergence to maturity.”
ATTA Member, Hokkaido Development Engineering Center shared in the ATTA online Member Community, the HUB, “It is quite memorable this was achieved in the same year of ATWS Hokkaido 2021. For more information visit https://jomon-japan.jp/en/ and https://www.akarenga-h.jp/en/.”
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