The ruins of the Muromachi Period Higashi site

     The ruins of the Muromachi Period Higashi site:
       the life of butchers and leatherworkers

Higashi Site is situated in Kaizuka City, Osaka Prefecture. This site is located on the left bank of Kitasakai River at the altitude of 11m to 14m. During the Edo period, the location of this site was called "Shima-mura" populated by discriminated people. The name of the village is believed to derived from the name of the village's founder.

At the excavations in 1996, we discovered remains dating from between the 14th and the 15th century, specifically, a well, a ditch and a pit where animal bones were discarded. Additionally, we discovered remains of the 18th century, consisting of a ditch and a pit where only dog and cat bones were discarded.

The most animal bones were excavated from pit 201, pit 201-2 and pit 201-3. These remains were from the 15th century. First, pit 201-2 and pit201-3 were made. After they were filled, pit 201 was made. Pit 201 has a diameter of 4m, pit 201-2 is of 1m and pit 201-3 is of about 1m.

Many cattle bones, especially, bones of extremities, were excavated from pit 201-3. The minimum supposed number of individuals of the cattle is 2. The bones of deer and wild boar were excavated from this pit, too. The relics such as pots, and earthenware mortars were also found.

Only molars were excavated from pit 201-2. The minimum supposed number of individuals of cattle and horses is 1. Supposedly there were also bones of body in this pit that decomposed over time.

The highest number of animal bones was excavated from Pit 201. Bones were spread all over this pit. Many bones decomposed and altered to the gray layer. Many cattle and horse bones were excavated from pit 201. Although the bones of the whole body were excavated from this pit, the majority was bones of extremities. The minimum supposed number of individuals is 4 cattle and 2 horses. The condition of the bones is too bad to sufficiently type them. Supposedly there was twice the estimated quantity. The bones of cattle, which suffered damage when peeling skin, were excavated from this pit. A few bones of dog, deer, wild boar, and turtle were also excavated from this pit. These were the comestible animals of the village residents. Pottery excavated included saucers, dishes, earthenware mortars, pans, jar to catch octopuses, white-porcelain-dish and so on.

Thus, we discovered a village of people who treated animal corpses in the 15th century. We discovered how the bones of the remains were disposed of. At that time, the residents in this village were discriminated against, as has already been presented in this session. The amount and variety of pottery excavated at Higashi site surpassed neighboring sites of the same period. In the 14th century, they possessed celadons. In the 15th century, they possessed white porcelain. These were imported from China and not so inexpensive to be able to get easily. These facts suggest that fairly luxuries lifestyle not commonly found in similar villages of this period. Archaeological results do not provide evidence of discrimination. Rather, they suggest that the handling and processing of animal corpses was profitable.

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