Jomon Field School 2010

Principal Faculty: Professor Junko Habu
UC Berkeley Course: Anthropology 134A
This six-week summer program provides an introduction to field and laboratory methods in the archaeology of prehistoric Jomon hunter-gatherers of Japan. It is currently the only archaeological field school in Japan offered by an American university. As part of the  Berkeley Sannai Maruyama/Goshizawa Matsumori Project  (see below), we will excavate the  Goshizawa Matsumori site. At this  site, we will excavate one pit-  dwelling, catalog the potsherds and  other artifacts excavated from the site,  and collect soil-samples for flotation.  Flotation will be done to retrieve  floral/faunal remains and lithic  debitage. We also plan to work on soil  samples that were previously collected  from the Sannai Maruyama Site. This  field school is run in collaboration  with the Aomori Prefectural  Archaeological Center, Board of Education of Aomori City, and the Preservation Office of  the Sannai Maruyama site (a branch office of the Board of Education of Aomori Prefecture).

Syllabus available online.

In collaboration with the Board of Education of Aomori City and Aomori Prefectural Archaeological Center, we plan to excavate a Middle Jomon pit-dwelling (circa 3000 BC) at the site, catalog excavated artifacts, and screen soil samples to retrieve organic remains and lithic debitage.

Prerequisites: Instructor approval required. Admission to the course is competitive and limited. It is preferred that you have successfully completed Anthropology 2, Introduction to Archaeology, or its equivalent at other institutions, but it is not required. Also, the ability to communicate in Japanese is ideal, but not necessary. There is a field/lab fee for the course. Two textbooks and several articles.

Qualifications: Field school participants are expected to be well organized and punctual. Since the excavation will be conducted in collaboration with Japanese archaeologists and local employees, we expect our students to respect cultural traditions, customs and rules of these people. Certain restrictions will apply for evening and weekend free time activities to avoid cultural problems.

Application Deadline : March 15 for preferred consideration (applications for the program will be accepted through to April 15, but early application is advised since enrollment is limited). Application can be obtained from Professor Habu, or from the course website.

UC Students (undergrad):

University Fee for 6 units*:
$1752 ($292/unit x 6 units)

Course Material Fees (check to UC Regents):

$1400 (including accommodation in Aomori, ground transportation between the accommodation facility and excavation site, and 4 receptions)

One-time registration fee:
Airfare & domestic transport:
$1300 (students’ responsibility)
Food (minimum $15 x 25 days):
$ 375 (students’ responsibility)
* Fees for a UC grad student is $2136 (356/unit x 6 units)
University Fee for 6 units*:
$1920 ($320/unit x 6 units)

Field/lab fee (check to UC Regents):

$1400 (accommodation and incidentals)

One-time registration fee:
$ 385*
Airfare & domestic transport:
$1300 (students’ responsibility)
Food (minimum $15 x 25 days):
$375 (students’ responsibility)
* In addition, a visiting international student needs to pay a $300 International Service Fee

Contact Information:

Director: Dr. Junko Habu, Department of Anthropology, University of California 232 Kroeber Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3710 U.S.A. Phone: (510)643-2837/2645; Fax: (510)643-8557 (c/o Anthropology);


At this  site, we will excavate one pit-dwelling, catalog the potsherds and  other artifacts excavated from the site,  and collect soil-samples for flotation.  Flotation will be done to retrieve  floral/faunal remains and lithic  debitage. We also plan to work on soil  samples that were previously collected  from the Sannai Maruyama Site. This  field school is run in collaboration  with the Aomori Prefectural  Archaeological Center, Board of Education of Aomori City, and the Preservation Office of  the Sannai Maruyama site (a branch office of the Board of Education of Aomori Prefecture).

The Goshizawa Matsumori site

The Goshizawa Matsumori site was discovered in 2007 on the horse-riding ground of the  Aomori Riding Club. Located on the hillside of  Aomori City, the site is about 8 kilometers away from the Sannai Maruyama site (see below).  Gardening in the site area by a club member  accidentally revealed the presence of at least one  pit-dwelling (see the photo) associated with  Middle Jomon potsherds. It is currently in the  process of getting registered as a newly found  Jomon site.

Berkeley Sannai Maruyama Project

This field school is part of an on-going research project, the Berkeley Sannai Maruyama/Goshizawa Matsumori project, directed by the instructor. Over the past  several years, the Berkeley team has been collecting  and analyzing archaeological data from the Sannai  Maruyama site (Early-Middle Jomon Periods, circa  3900-2300 BC). The site was originally excavated as  a salvage project by the prefectural Board of  Education, and is currently designated as a national  historic site. The long-term goal of the Berkeley Project is to examine evolutionary  changes and developments in subsistence-settlement  systems and social complexity at the site and in its  vicinity. For this purpose, we have collected soil  samples from several test excavation areas at Sannai  Maruyama, water- screened these samples, and  retrieved floral and faunal remains as well as artifacts  for quantitative analyses. We have also examined  previous excavation records to identify the timings of  changes in the lithic assemblage, the clay figurine assemblage, and the number and size of pit-dwellings. 

Goals of the Summer 2010 Field Session

During the 2010 field season, we plan to conduct the following field and lab work:

  1. Excavation of a Middle Jomon pit-dwelling at the Goshizawa Matsumori site
  2. Screening and flotation of  soil samples from the fill and  hearth of the dwelling to  recover carbonized floral/faunal remains and  artifacts dated to the Middle  Jomon period
  3. Sub-sampling of the previously  collected soil samples from the Sannai Maruyama site to obtain quantitative data for  Early Jomon faunal and  floral remains.

 For more information please see the Summer Field School website at

Telephone Number(s):