Tsugaru City, Aomori Prefecture

Tagoyano Site

Designated as a historic site on June 26, 1944

Time division - Early, Middle
Distant view of the Tagoyano Shell Midden

Distant view of the Tagoyano Shell Midden

This is a settlement site with a shell midden, one of the few shell middens of the Early Jomon period found along the Sea of Japan, which is focused on the cylindrical pottery culture from the middle of the Early Jomon period to the middle of the Middle Jomon period (approx. 4,000 – 2,500 BCE). It is located at the southeastern tip of a hill at an altitude of 10 to 15 m on the left bank of the Iwaki River on Tsushima Peninsula in western Aomori Prefecture.

Yamato-shijimi clams, ishigai clams and other shells, as well as the bones of fish including carp and Japanese sea bass and the bones of birds such as geese, ducks and short-tailed albatrosses have been unearthed. In addition, bone and antler objects made of the bones of large mammals such as whales and dolphins as well as human bones have also been unearthed. In particular, more than 50 unfinished bracelets made of benkeigai clamshells have been excavated, demonstrating that bracelets were made in the settlement.

Benkeigai clamshell bracelets belonging to the same period have been unearthed in Hokkaido, and Hokkaido obsidian has been unearthed in the Tagoyano Shell Midden. These facts indicate the production activities and trading across the strait during the Jomon period. The condition of the unfinished benkeigai clamshell bracelets suggests that the coast along the Sea of Japan, where these materials can be collected, and which is not very far from the site (distance: 4 km), was also used for these activities, shedding light on the way people interacted with nature and land amid the mild natural environment and abundant marine resources.

Library *Click to enlarge.


Basic Information

Display the Tagoyano Shell Midden
on an enlarged map.

Site Location

Kizukuri Tateoka Tagoyano, Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture

Facility Exhibiting Excavated Articles

Tsugaru City Kizukuri Kamegaoka Archaeological Material
Kizukuri Tateoka Byobuzan 195, Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture, 038-3283
0173-42-3450 / +81-17-342-3450
Tsugaru City Kizukuri Kamegaoka Archaeological Material
9:00 – 16:00
Following day of national holidays
Year-end and New Year holidays (Dec. 29 – Jan. 3)
[Individuals] 200 yen (100 yen)
[High school/university students] 100 yen (50 yen)
[Elementary/junior high school students] 50 yen (20 yen)
*The figures in brackets indicate admission fee per person in groups (15 people or more).
■15 min. on foot from the Tateoka bus stop of Konan Bus
■20 min. by car from JR Kizukuri Station on the Gono Line
Map of the Tagoyano Shell Midden(Japanese, PDF:1.07MB)


Social Education and Culture Division, Tsugaru City Board of Education

Kizukuri Wakamidori 52, Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture, 038-3138
0173-49-1194 / +81-17-349-1194
Social Education and Culture Division, Tsugaru City Board of Education
Check here, too!

Tsugaru City Kamegaoka Archeology Collections (KARCO)

Artifacts excavated from the sites in Tsugaru City are on display.

Kizukuri Wakamidori 59-1, Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture, 038-3138
0173-42-6490 / +81-17-342-6490

Tsugaru City Morita History and Folklore Museum

This facility exhibits mainly artifacts excavated from the Ishigami Site in Aomori Prefecture (nationally important cultural property). The Ishigami Site features the cylindrical pottery culture, and is a site of the same age as the Tagoyano Shell Midden.

Tsukimino 340-2, Morita, Morita-cho, Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture, 038-2816
0173-26-2201 / +81-17-326-2201
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