Division of Department of Japanese Studies Department of Archaeology
We study and research the activities and culture of ancient human societies
Archaeology is a field of history that explores human societies of the past and their cultures. Archaeology differs from other historical disciplines in that it reconstructs history by investigating excavated sites, such as the ruins of government fortifications (josaku) and settlements, or remnants of prehistoric dwellings. The Paleolithic period, the Jomon period, the Yayoi period, the Kofun period, ancient history, the middle ages, or modern times — everything is studied directly through surviving historical sites or relics. Students of our department learn the basics of archeological research as they participate in excavations and catalogue and analyze excavated materials. This training is necessary for anyone who wishes to become a real archaeologist in the future. Our museum houses a rich assortment of historical artifacts that are considered the model archaeological collection in Japan. Important Cultural Properties (nationally designated) alone comprise 477 exhibits. Furthermore, various natural sciences are also applied in the research of ruins and relics. Our current research projects cover many topics: age measurement of historical remnants; the structure and living environment of ancient settlements and natural conditions that shaped them; hunting and fishing practices of the Jomon period; production activities of ancient people; the ways earthenware and stoneware pottery was made and used; etc. Students of our department learn how to use the latest analytical instruments and observation equipment in their research. We are also actively involved in international exchange with countries like the United States, France, Russia, China, South Korea, and others.