Futatsumori Shell Midden
Designated as a historic site on January 16, 1988
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 35 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.
- Jomon Archaeological Sites in Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku, Historic site Futatsumori Shell Midden [February 2018] (PDF:4.91MB)
Display the Futatsumori Shell Midden
on an enlarged map.
Kaizukaienomae, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture
Facility Exhibiting Excavated Articles
Futatsumori Historical Park
|Kaizukaienomae, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture, 039-2751|
|0176-58-5530 / +81-17-658-5530
(World Heritage Management Office, Shichinohe Town Municipal Board of Education)
|Open all year round
*Park closed in winter
|■~20 min. by car from JR Shichinohe-Towada Station (Tohoku Shinkansen Line)
■~10 min. by car from Kamikitacho Station (Aoimori Railways Tohoku Line)
■~6 min. by car from E4A Shichinohe IC on the Kamikita Expressway
■~15 min. by car from Shichinohe Town Hall Main Building
Shichinohe Town road map(Japanese, PDF:592KB)
World Heritage Management Office, Shichinohe Town Municipal Board of Education
|morinoue 210, Shichinohemachi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori prefecture, 039-2827|
|0176-58-5530 / +81-17-658-5530|
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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
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.