Ceremonial Artifact


From: Japan | Honshu | Tohoku Region | Aomori Prefecture

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 13158
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Jomon | Japanese
Provenience Japan | Honshu | Tohoku Region | Aomori Prefecture
Period Jomon
Date Made Early Jomon - Late Jomon
Section Asian
Materials Stone
Technique Carved
Inscription Language Japanese Language | Japanese Language

Phallic shaped mace or rod. Tip is wide, almost triangular in shape with end blunt. Two parallel incised lines around wide part of tip. Base end flattened. Short diagonal scratches in surface throughout. Side of tip and base end is chipped. Black stone. Phallic rods or maces similar to 13157, 13158 and 13159 have been excavated from Early Period to Late Period Jomon sites. They have been found in a context which implies that they had ceremonial or religious significance. For example, phallic-shaped carved stones were found in connection with low stone platforms at Yosukeone, in Nagano Prefecture. This site, which was a satellite site of a major Middle Jomon settlement, contained several such altars, often behind the fireplace along the wall of pithouses. In two other instances at Yosukeone they were found in a corner behind a roof support pillar. Some scholars believe such archaeological evidence indicates an increasing importance in community ritual practices. It may also be linked to elements which have continued in modern folk traditions and Shintoism. 13158, from Aomori, Tohuku region in the far north of the island of Honshu is of a different type of stone than 13157 and 13159. It is also highly polished and the tip of artifact is more elaborately carved. Although early Jomon sites appear in the Early Jomon Period, it was especially during the Final Jomon Period that the culture flourished in the North. This artifact represents the Jomon culture in Northern Honshu and the continuation of a specific ritual tradition.

Length 25.4 cm
Width 3.8 cm
Thickness 2.5 cm
Credit Line Exchange with the Japanese Commissioner, World's Columbian Exposition, 1893
Other Number 13 - Other Number

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