Shichinohe Town, Aomori Prefecture

Historic site

Futatsumori Shell Midden

Designated as a historic site on January 16, 1988

Time division - Early, Middle

Decorated comb made of antler bone

Decorated comb made of antler bone

This settlement site featuring a large shell midden from the early phase of the Early Jomon period to the end of the Middle Jomon period (approx. 3, 500 – 2,000 BC) is located on a plateau at an altitude of around 30 m on the west bank of Lake Ogawara along the Pacific coast in eastern Aomori Prefecture. The site covers an area of about 30 ha.

The shell midden is one of the largest found in the Tohoku region from this period, and is a very important piece of evidence highlighting environmental changes and livelihoods of that time as well as the culture of long-term settlement and its structure.

The shell midden is divided into two areas on the northern and southern slopes of the plateau. Different types of pottery have been excavated from its shell, upper and lower layers. Marine-type shell middens were formed in the Early Jomon period, and brackish-type examples were formed in the Middle Jomon period. They reflect the phenomena of marine transgression and regression that occurred on a global scale. Items excavated from these shell middens include Yamato-shijimi clams, common orient clams and other shells, bones from fish (Japanese sea bass, red sea bream, puffer fish and others) swans, ducks, deer, boar and other animals, and bone/antler objects. These artifacts provide valuable information for studying the period’s dietary habits and livelihoods based on hunting, gathering and fishing.

The additional discovery of extensive remains of pit dwellings and storage pits indicates that this was a large settlement. Canine remains have also been unearthed, suggesting a close relationship between Jomon people and dogs.

The excavation of artifacts made of jade and obsidian, which were not produced in the area, indicates exchanges and trade with other areas. Such items provide material evidence of Jomon cultural development, and represent outstanding examples of pieces from a permanent settlement based on adaptation to the environment.

Library *Click to enlarge.

Shell middenShell midden

Pottery excavated from the Futatsumori Shell MiddenPottery excavated from the Futatsumori Shell Midden

Bone and antler objects (fish hooks, etc)Bone and antler objects (fish hooks, etc)

Restored pit dwellingRestored pit dwelling

Literature

Basic Information

Display the Futatsumori Shell Midden
on an enlarged map.

Site Location

Kaizukaienomae, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture

Facility Exhibiting Excavated Articles

Futatsumori Historical Park
Address
Kaizukaienomae, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture, 039-2751
Tel
0176-58-5530 / +81-17-658-5530
(World Heritage Management Office, Shichinohe Town Municipal Board of Education)
Hours
Until sunset
Closed
Open all year round
*Park closed in winter
Admission
fee
Free
*Free parking
Access
■~20 min. by car from JR Shichinohe-Towada Station (Tohoku Shinkansen Line)
■~10 min. by car from Kamikitacho Station (Aoimori Railways Tohoku Line)
■~15 min. by car from Kamikita IC on the Kamikita Expressway
■~15 min. by car from Shichinohe Town Hall Main Building
Shichinohe Town road map(Japanese, PDF:592KB)

Inquiries

World Heritage Management Office, Shichinohe Town Municipal Board of Education

Address
morinoue 210, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture, 039-2827
Tel
0176-58-5530 / +81-17-658-5530
Check here, too!

Shichinohe Central Community Center

Artifacts excavated from the national historic Futatsumori Shell Midden site (pottery, stone tools, bone and antler objects, shells, etc.) are on permanent display in the hall on the second floor.
◎Free admission / Mon. – Fri.: 9:00 – 21:00; Sat. and Sun.: 9:00 – 18:00 / ◎Closed: national holidays, year-end and New Year holidays

Morinokami 210, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture, 039-2827
0176-68-2920 / +81-17-668-2920

Shichinohe Cultural Exchange Center

The center exhibits a wide variety of materials on cultural properties in its role as a historical museum. Visitors can learn about artifacts excavated from the Futatsumori Shell Midden and the Shichinohe Castle Site (both national historic sites) as well as valuable materials discovered in Shichinohe Town dating from the Jomon period to the contemporary age. Admittance is exclusive to groups.

Maeda 32, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture, 039-2555
0176-62-9702 / +81-17-662-9702

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