Watching this resources will notify you when proposed changes or new versions are created so you can keep track of improvements that have been made.
Favoriting this resource allows you to save it in the “My Resources” tab of your account. There, you can easily access this resource later when you’re ready to customize it or assign it to your students.
Pottery from the prehistoric Jōmon period in Japan is thought by many scholars to be the oldest ever discovered.
Describe the pottery of the Jomon people in prehistoric Japan
Prehistoric art of Japan begins with the Jōmon period (c. 10,000 BCE - 350 BCE), and the Jōmon people are thought to have been the first settlers of Japan. The Jōmon people are named for the "cord-markings," or decorative impressions made with rope, found on pottery of this era.
Jōmon pottery is said by many scholars to be the oldest ever discovered.
In the Middle Jōmon period (3000-2000 BCE), simple decorations on the pottery gave way to highly elaborate designs; flame vessels and crown-formed vessels are among the most distinctive forms from this period.
Clay figurines called dogū, often described as "goggle-eyed," featured elaborate geometrical designs and short, stubby limbs; they are believed to have a religious or ritual significance.
Prehistoric art of Japan begins with the Jōmon period (c. 10,000 BCE - 350 BCE). The Jōmon people are thought to have been the first settlers of Japan. Nomadic hunter-gatherers who later practiced organized farming and built cities, the Jōmon people are named for the "cord-markings"—impressions made by pressing rope into the clay before it was heated to approximately 600-900 degrees Celsius—that were found as decorations on pottery of this time. The term Jōmon was first applied to the pottery and the culture by American Edward Sylvester Morse. Jōmon pottery is said by many scholars to be the oldest ever discovered.
Jōmon People and Their Art
The Jōmon communities consisted of hundreds or even thousands of people who dwelt in simple houses of wood and thatch set into shallow earthen pits to provide warmth from the soil. They crafted lavishly decorated pottery storage vessels, clay figurines called dogū, and crystal jewels.
The oldest examples of Jōmon pottery have flat bottoms, though pointed bottoms (meant to be held in small pits in the earth) became common later. In the Middle Jōmon period (3000-2000 BCE), simple decorations on the pottery (created with cord or through scratching) gave way to highly elaborate designs. So-called flame vessels, along with the closely related crown-formed vessels, are among the most distinctive forms from this period.
Representative forms such as clay figurines of people and animals also appeared around this time. These figurines, called dogū, are often described as "goggle-eyed" and feature elaborate geometrical designs and short, stubby limbs. They are believed to have borne a religious or ritual significance.
“Ceramics in the Jomon Period.”
Boundless Art History
Boundless, 17 Nov. 2016.
Retrieved 20 Feb. 2017 from