Presenter's Name(s)

Liam S. WempleFollow

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Scott Van Keuren

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Anthropology

Primary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

Presentation Title

Textural surface decoration on Jōmōn pottery: Tactile experience and the cord impressed pots of the Japanese stone age

Time

9:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - New Research on Archaeological Ceramics

Abstract

For some of the earliest dated pottery on earth, the clay vessels of ancient Japan's Jomon period bear complicated patterns of impressed surface decoration, usually made by using cord or twine rolled across the surface of the pots before firing. More elaborate flared lip vessels from later in the Jomon period like the flamboyant Fire-ware jars take texture to an even further level of complexity, begging the question: What motivated the people of Ancient Japan to impress even their utilitarian vessels? Could texture or the tactile experience of holding one of these pots have been involved somehow with ritual of ceremonial activity? Why is it that other cultures across the world independently developed traditions of impressing their pots in similar ways? Is there something about an exquisitely textured surface that speaks to something inside us that makes us human? Most importantly, how does the sensory experience differ when holding an interesting textural surface like a cord impressed pot rather than a more typical smooth utilitarian vessel.

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Textural surface decoration on Jōmōn pottery: Tactile experience and the cord impressed pots of the Japanese stone age

For some of the earliest dated pottery on earth, the clay vessels of ancient Japan's Jomon period bear complicated patterns of impressed surface decoration, usually made by using cord or twine rolled across the surface of the pots before firing. More elaborate flared lip vessels from later in the Jomon period like the flamboyant Fire-ware jars take texture to an even further level of complexity, begging the question: What motivated the people of Ancient Japan to impress even their utilitarian vessels? Could texture or the tactile experience of holding one of these pots have been involved somehow with ritual of ceremonial activity? Why is it that other cultures across the world independently developed traditions of impressing their pots in similar ways? Is there something about an exquisitely textured surface that speaks to something inside us that makes us human? Most importantly, how does the sensory experience differ when holding an interesting textural surface like a cord impressed pot rather than a more typical smooth utilitarian vessel.