University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Native NameMagatama
Object Number:2320
Current Location: Collections Storage
Culture:Jomon (uncertain)
Kofun (uncertain)
Provenience: South Japan
Period: Jomon (uncertain)
Kofun (uncertain)
Date Made: Late Jomon - Kofun
Early Date: -1500
Late Date: 600
Credit Line:Gift of Francis C. Macauley, 1890
Other Number:None - Field No SF
None - Other Number


Magatama (Japanese), comma shaped bead. Ends of bead touching each other to form circular form. Hole pierced through head of comma form. Green stone. Serpentine. Comma-shaped beads similar in style, manufacturing technique and material to 2314, 2315, 2316, 2317, 2318 and 2320 have been found at Jomon sites. The incised lines and the ridged backs are not uncommon. These items may have been objects of personal adornment which indicated relative wealth and social status among the villagers and/or may have served as a charm to protect the wearer. They may also have had some type of ceremonial context as they have been found in association with platformed areas which appear to have had a communal or ceremonial purpose in Jomon and Yayoi period sites. During the Kofun Period they are often found in burials adorning the neck, body and placed near the feet. Aside from burial offerings they also later symbolism is associated with the imperial househould.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Loan Exhibition - Objects Used in Religious Ceremonies, and Charms and Implements For Divination (16 Apr 1892) View Objects in Exhibition


[Book] Higuchi, Takayasu, and Aikens, C. Melvin. 1982. Prehistory of Japan.. San Diego. Academic Press. Type Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 165, 181View Objects related to this Type Citation
[Catalogue, Exhibition] Culin, R. S. 1892. Loan Exhibition: Objects Used in Religious Ceremonies and Charms and Implements for Divination.. University of Pennsylvania, Department of Archaeology and Paleontology. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 130, No. 540View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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