Mortuary Practices for Children in prehistoric Japan


Infant burial jar, Sannai Maruyama Image credit: Ismoon (talk) (Fichier:Sannai_IMG_20161009_143656) cropped, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Above one of the 900 burial jars used for burying infants, at the Sannai-Maruyama historic site.

Jomon jar burials of Japan:

“Children were placed in pottery and buried after death. Approximately 900 tombs have been found in this site. Pottery used as coffins had a round hole or a broken rim or bottom, being differentiated from those used for cooking. A fist-size stone was found in one of the pottery.” 

— Sannai-Maruyama site in Aomori prefecture: Children’s burial jars (Sannai-Maruyama historic site homepage)

The paper “Burial practices and social complexity>Jomon examples” by Takamune Kawashima
Documenta Praehistorica XXXVIII (2011) notes that communal graves emerged only in the Kanto region and during the Late Jomon period
Mortuary Practices for Children in Jomon Japan: An Approach to Jomon Life History” by Yasuhiro YAMADA (土井ヶ浜遺跡), Nihon Kokogaku(Journal of the Japanese Archaeological Association); ISSN:1340-8488; VOL.4; NO.4; PAGE.1-39; (1997) 
Abstract: A model of Jomon life history was generated through an analysis of data collected on children’s burials. The data were first classed by the age of the child, as divided into the five stages of neonatal period (up to six months), later infancy (six months to two years), early childhood (two through five years), later childhood (six through twelve years), and adolescence (thirteen through sixteen years). Patterns of burials were then examined for variation by region and temporal period, with burial practices assessed in terms of type of burial facility, number of burials per facility, sex of other individuals in cases of multiple burial, and whether the burial is primary or secondary. The results show that, as for adults, single, primary burials are most prevalent for children, with jar burials most numerous up through infancy, and multiple burials most numerous from then on.
Further examinations were made of characteristics stemming from the time of burial, such as burial posture, location of the burial near or away from a residence, use of red pigment and of bodily ornaments; the age in weeks of infants in jar burials, and the sex of children in multiple burials were also considered, and the following observations were made. Burial posture differs little from that of adults. Burials connected with residences are common. Red pigment is used from the neonatal stage, but varies regionally. Ages of 38 weeks or more are common for infants in jar burials, which are thought to be examples of early infant deaths. Also, weekly ages of 38 weeks and less are common in pit burials. For burials of children together with adults, interment with women is common through infancy, with burial together with men being practiced from early childhood on. This means that early childhood is a point of change in the child’s sphere of activity. Full-scale use of bodily ornamentation is practiced from early childhood on, but is limited to necklaces and bracelets mainly of beads and shell; no ornamentation is known for the head, waist, and so forth. This is thought due to different principles governing the use of bodily ornaments for adults and children.
Six sites in which both child and adult burials are known were then examined to provide clear and concrete illustrations of differences in characteristics stemming from the time of burial.
A model of Jomon life history, summarizing these observations is presented showing the child’s position with age in the transition to adulthood. Read the full text of the paper in Japanese here.
In the future, comparative research could be undertaken between Jomon and Eurasian infant mortuary practices including observations on details about incidences of intramural burials (in or around residences), use of red pigment, shape and type of jars used, hole in jar bottom, etc.

For a comparison of jar burial practices elsewhere, we attempt to consider a theory of their spread from the Near East to Europe to, or from a common Central Asian homeland to East Asia, see the following resources:

12,000ybp  Settled communities in the Near East practised intramural burial of both adults and children as early as the 10th millennium BC. In the Neolithic period pots were used as burial receptacles, cooking jars being used for the burial of infants and small children.

According to McGeorge,   settled communities in the Near East practised intramural burial of both adults and children as early as the 10th millennium B.C.. In the Neolithic period pots were used as burial receptacles, cooking jars used for the burial of infants and small children.
7,000 BCE~5,500B.C.E.: 
Early Neolithic core area in the Struma and Vardar River Valleys and the west Rhodope, and later, Late/Final Neolithic [around 5500 B.C.] and/or Chalcolithic – showed manifestations of jar burials scattered in various places across the study area. Jar burial seems related to certain later developments, such as the cremation burials in clay urns that were excavated in Thrace and Thessaly. Besides, if one considers these practices in the wider territorial framework of Anatolia and the Levant, it becomes obvious that parallels do exist and that they are more or less contemporaneous./ burials in clay pots are not a homogenous entity, but can be separated into three different types with specific features of their own: typical jar burials, secondary burials and cremation burials. Before the detailed analysis of jar burials, I will consider the other two types, with respect to their origins and territo-rial distribution. Only one Early Neolithic secondary collective burial has been found so far. It was discovered in Layer III at Tell Azmak in Upper Thrace and belongs to the Karanovo I Culture[c. 4700 BC – c. 3950 BC ]. The clay pot contained several skulls (the excavator did not give the exact number) as well as separate bones (GeorGiev, 1966: 9f.). This find, how-ever, is not unique in a broader chronological framework; a separate skull of a small girl (0-3 months) was buried in a high-pedestalled bowl (fig. 3, n. 2) at the prehistoric cemetery of Mórágy-Tűzkődomb in southern Transdanubia (Zalai-gaál, 2002: 123; Taf. 46f.). Another skull was placed in the bottom of a broken jar at the late Neolithic Alepotrypa cave in Laconia (papathanassopoulos, 1996: 175). Besides, secondary burial in ceramic vessels could be related to the secondary burials in ordinary pits, for instance, from Layers II and IV of Tell Karanovo (Bacvarov, 2000).This is not the case with the second type known from as many as nine sites in southeast Europe and related to the cremation burial.
A large (?) clay pot containing the burnt bones of a child was found close to the oven in a house from the Early Neolithic layer at Tell Azmak (fig. 2, n. 4). The pot was most probably buried beneath the house floor, but this is not explicitly stated in the only source available: the ground plan of the house published in 1972 (GeorGiev, 1972: 17, Abb. 4). This burial is not unique in southeast Europe, although it is the only one found in Thrace.
Cremation burials in clay pots were found in the late Starčevo layer at Vinča-Belo Brdo, at the Körös site of Gorza in the Tisza Valley and in the Late Neolithic layer at Vršac in the Banat (vasić, 1936: 182; Milleker, 1938: 166; Garašanin, 1956: 209; gaZdapuSZtai, 1957). The burials from Vinča, Gorza and Vršac formally correspond to the Azmak complex; the calcined bones were interred in clay pots. More numerous examples of cremation burials in pots come from Souphli Magoula and Plateia Ma-goula Zarkou and Dimini in eastern Thessaly (galliS, 1975; 1996a; 1996b) as well as in Suplacu de Barcău and Tăşad in Transylvania (iGnat, 1985).
At Souphli, besides the charred skeletal remains buried in round pits with grave goods and belonging to the Early Neolithic Protosesklo Culture, seven pots containing charred bones were found to the south of the Magoula, belonging to the Tzangli-Larissa phase of the Di-mini Culture. The cemetery of Plateia was excavated at less than 500 m from the site; it contained more than seventy cremation burials in clay pots covered with other pots, in one case a zoomorphic vessel. The grave pits were surrounded with stones or, in some cases, the bottom of the pits was covered with a layer of pebbles. Smaller vessels were buried as grave goods. At Dimini the partially burnt bones of a small child were found in a carinated bowl, and at Suplacu de Barcău a cremation burial of a young woman with two more vessels was excavated.
Another clue to the symbolic interpretation of cremation burials in clay pots is the fact that the complexes from Tell Azmak and Gorza are earlier, whereas the rest are of a later date. The Azmak burial – and probably the burial from Gorza? – belonged to a child, which maybe relates it more closely to the formal individual inhumations than to the ‘classical’ Late Neolithic cremation burials; it should also be noted that it was found beneath a house floor.
JAR BURIALS: THE DATA SET Four cases of formal inhumation in a ceramic vessel – or jar burials – have been found in the Early Neolithic of southeast Europe: two at Kovačevo in the Struma River Valley, one at Rakitovo in the west Rhodope Mountains and one at Anza in the Vardar River Valley (fig. 1, n. 1). The skeletal remains belong to newborn or stillborn infants, buried in a contracted position /Two jar burials were found in the Early Neolithic Kovačevo Id layer. The first burial belongs to a stillborn infant, buried in a pot (c. 30 cm high) covered with a clay lid. The skeleton was complete; the boy has been buried in a hyperflexed position on the right side, with the head aligned to the north (fig. 2, n. 1). The second child burial has still to be published. It probably belongs to a very young infant, again buried in a clay pot/ A jar burial was found in the Anza Ic layer. It belonged to a neonate buried in a necked jar, whose four handles have been broken together with the bottom. – Jar burials as early settlement markers in southeast European Neolithic  
On jar burials in the Struma and Vardar valleys of Rhodope mountains of Southeast Europe. Bacvarov theorizes that the clay pot (noting the tradition from the Levant of burying in a silo) symbolizes womb of the female divinity or mother goddess (claypots sometimes had breasts), and these burial pots were re-used as grain pots, thus giving rise to the idea of  grave/death/burial-> grain/fertility/rebirth. The act of burying an infant in foetal position, then possibly reflected a world view of sending the infant by burial back into the mother goddess’ womb [with a view to being rebirthed?] A Korvacevo infant burial was noted to have been contracted on the right side with the head facing or aligned to the north.
Jar burials were also noted of the Starcevo burials at Vinca and Gorza. Closest analogies were deemed the ones in Central Anatolia. Chronological jar burials were Tell Azmak, Gorza, Vinca, Souphli, Plateia.
Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic era jar burials at Tell Ezero, Upper Thrace dating to the late Neolithic Karanovo III period and then Tells Mandolo in Greece and Lerna Margolis. Infant burials also were practiced in the final Neolithic cases in the tells at Polgar, from the Alfold  Linear Pottery period at the Hungarian Plain, Laconia,Greece and Rachmanni, Thessaly. Source: Bacvarov, Krum, “Early Neolithic jar burials in southeast Europe: a comparative approach” UDK 903.5.233(4)”633/634″ documenta Praehistorica XXXIII (2006)  
A Late Neolithic migration from the Near East between 6200 and 5500 BCE:

aDNA – mitochondrial haplogroup N1a was the marker for early Neolithic lineages:

“Studies from Central and West Europe, especially the analysis of mitochondrial diversity of LBK culture groups, showed no continuity between the first farmers of Europe and the modern Europeans, thus proposing that these Neolithic pioneers had little genetic impact on the current European population [11, 1415, 21]. This hypothesis is supported by our data, which show a close genetic proximity of Early Neolithic group from Romania (Starčevo-Criş culture) with Early Neolithic populations such as LBK but no genetic continuity with modern Romanian populations (Figs 2 and 3, S3 Table). These data are in line with the idea of a common origin of the LBK and Starčevo-Criş cultures (between 6200 and 5500 BCE) from the Aegean Neolithic cultures of Northern Greece/Thessaly, the first Neolithic complex in Europe [24]. … Based on aDNA studies from sites of the Starčevo-Criş culture (Cârcea/Gura Baciului/Negrileşti sites), we confirm their genetic relationship with the LBK culture, both originating in the Proto-Sesklo cultures of Northern Greece. In addition, our data support the strong genetic differences between these first European farmers and the later Neolithic farmers. In addition, we provide for the first time a glimpse to the genetic make-up of the farmers from a later Neolithic migration from Anatolia Vinča and Dudești cultures that later evolved in the Boian, Zau and Gumelniţa cultures in South-East Europe. The strong genetic resemblance of individuals from these cultures with the modern populations leads us to propose the hypothesis that they had an important contribution to the genetic heritage of Eastern and Central Europeans. In contrast, no such influence could be demonstrated for Late Bronze Age migrations.” Source: Hervella M, Rotea M, Izagirre N, Constantinescu M, Alonso S, Ioana M, et al. (2015)   Ancient DNA from South-East Europe Reveals Different Events during Early and Middle Neolithic Influencing the European Genetic Heritage. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0128810. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128810.

Together these results demonstrate the significance of the western Carpathian Basin as a prehistoric corridor on the Continental route of the Neolithic expansion, connecting the Near East with Central Europe.

6,000~5,000 BCE On jar burials in the Levant – an assemblage of twenty six burials of infants and children exposed in sites of the Pottery Neolithic(PN) Period of the sixth and fifth millennium BC in Lebanon and Israel. Found in the Neolithic levels at Byblos, and from Wadi Raba culture sites in Israel, they span much of the PN sequence of Israel and neighboring countries. Some thirty jar burials were recorded in the three Pottery Neolithic levels of Byblos in Lebanon (Dunand 1973). Data is available on 18 of these, and they are included in the Wadi raba site of Tell Dan – “Infant Jar Burials – a ritual associated with early agriculture? Estelle ORRELLE 
Azerbaijan 512px-Jar-Burial_Culture

Stanislav Kozlovskiy, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

200 B.C. ~ 800 A.D.
2,000B.C.~800 A.D. Called in Russian, kuvshinnykh pogrebenii kul turd, an archaeological culture that was widespread in the second century B.C. to the eighth century A.D. in the basins of the Kura and Araks rivers in Transcaucasia, particularly in Caucasian Albania. The culture was characterized by the burial of the dead in a strongly flexed position on their sides in large clay jars. The burial inventory contained articles made of metal (bronze and primarily iron tools and weapons and bronze, silver, and gold ornaments), wood, stone, clay, glass, and paste. Roman, Arsacid, and Sassanid coins have been found in later burials. The Jar-Burial culture belonged to a settled farming population, which also engaged in stock raising, hunting, fishing, and the production of handicrafts. Source: Jar burials in the Kura-Araxes
500 ~900 A.D. 11 infant burial Anglo-Saxon settlement sites. A more recent paper suggests that a study of the Anglo-Saxon burials of babies or infants (especially well documented for the Romano-British period) either indicate their utter irrelevance to society because infants are not found together adult burials or that the large numbers of infants found buried in and around settlement suggest a mortuary practice of interring them up against or in the foundations of buildings which in turn possibly suggests some symbolic significance of the ritual building or space, especially where sheep sacrifice remains were found in two sites, but the author pointed out the lack of analysis to determine the relationship between mortuary deposits and ritual use or settlement spaces.    – Source: Sally Crawford, SPECIAL BURIALS, SPECIAL BUILDINGS? AN ANGLO-SAXONPERSPECTIVE ON THE INTERPRETATION OF INFANT BURIALSIN ASSOCIATION WITH RURAL SETTLEMENT STRUCTURES –  “Babies Reborn: Infant/Child Burials in Pre- and Protohistory“, Vol. 24, Section WS26, paper from Proceedings of the XV World Congress of the International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences Actes du XV Congrès Mondial de l’Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistorique ed. krum Bacvarov.

Together these results demonstrate the significance of the western Carpathian Basin as a prehistoric corridor on the Continental route of the Neolithic expansion, connecting the Near East with Central Europe.

Both mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA supports a Near-Eastern origin of the Starčevo and LBK cultures, see Anna Szécsényi-Nagy,  – Tracing the genetic origin of Europe’s first farmers reveals insights into their social organization   
The Starcevo culture See this article on “The Treatment of the Dead” It should be noted that Starcevo culture shows many features in common with that of the late Jomon, including pottery female figurines and spiral pottery motifs, in addition to cylindrical infant clay jar burials. 


Possible direction of future research

Future research should investigate whether the clay jar burial practice were spread by demic diffusion from an N1 and N9 common ancestor from West Asia or West Eurasia across Eurasia to Southeast Asia and to the ancestors of Jomon Japan whose mtDNA N9 haplogroup, via mtDNA N lineages to Eastern Asia , see Mitochondrial Genome Variation in Eastern Asia and the Peopling of Japan
Currently, research is ongoing on the recent discoveries of burial jars in Southeast China and Southeast Asia, future interdisciplinary research to compare all these new burial jar horizons with the Korean-Japan burial jars, to establish a better picture of the networks between Yayoi and coastal maritime burial cultures of East Asia and Northeast/Southeast Asia would be welcome:

Lessons learnt from Yayoi jar burials.

Yayoi period burial jars are considered to be a different tradition and origin from Jomon burial jars:

In “Genealogy in the Ground: Observations of jar burials of the Yayoi period, northern Kyushu, Japan“, 2005, Antiquity, Koji Mizoguchi wrote that it was well-established that Yayoi jars belonged to the early Han dynasty category. He also demonstrated that investigations into Yayoi jar burials focused mainly on spatial structure of jar burials and on whether grave goods were present, as evidence of social stratification and clan network relationships of the jar occupants. 
The cemetery at Monden-tsujibatake is located on a low-lying hill on the bottom of a floodplain (Fukuoka Prefectural Board of Education 1978). Here, 27 jar burials were excavated (Figure 2), of which 18 (9 adults and 9 infants) dated to the late Middle Yayoi period (around AD1). At the centre of the cemetery were three jar burials, located side by side with their grave pits partially overlapping one another. Jar burial 23 was overlapped at a corner of the grave pit by jar burial 24, a corner of whose grave pit was destroyed when jar burial 21 was constructed. This suggests that the group comprising those three burials represented a sequence of three episodes in the early phase of this cemetery. Each burial jar was lowered in the grave pit in the same orientation as if pointing to the one before. Elsewhere, the burials in this cemetery were situated at some distance from one another (Figure 2). Some were situated in relatively close proximity to one another, but not as close as the three at the centre of the cemetery. A bronze ploughshare was found in the fill of the disturbed part of the grave pit of jar burial 23. Jar burial 24 had a short iron sword, an iron halberd and the traces on the inside of the lower jar of two bronze mirrors that had been robbed (Figure 3). Jar burial 27, situated close to the central cluster, had been disturbed, but yielded two short iron swords in the disturbed fill and an iron halberd in situ. An examination of the size of the burial jars(Figure 4) revealed that the three burial jars in the central cluster were significantly larger than the rest (Figures 3 and 4).
The cemetery of Uraedani is situated on the ridge of a foothill in the mountain range surrounding a floodplain (Fukuoka Municipal Board of Education 2001). A total of 87 jar burials were excavated here, 85 of which were specimens of a burial jar typedating to the late Middle Yayoi period (Figure 5). No grave goods were offered to those who were interred here. As the excavator pointed out, the spatial configuration of the burials did not readily reveal any particular order. However, a careful observation of the site plan revealed that the seemingly chaotic spatial structure comprised a number of micro-clusters of jar burials, most of which comprised two jar burials(Figure5). For instance, jar burial 76 and 79 were located close to one another. Moreover, the burial jars were lowered in the grave pits in the same orientation (Figure 5). Jar burial 13 was overlapped by jar burial 5. The burial jar of the latter was lowered in the grave pit as if pointing to the former (Figure 5). In contrast to Monden-tsujibatake, the distribution of the burial jars ranking in the top 25 per cent in vessel height (Figure 6) was dispersed. Thus the Monden-tsujibatake cemetery can be characterised as having a sequential cluster of three jar burials in the centre of a cemetery which did not otherwise show sequential clusters. Other cemeteries that have burials containing grave goods or that are enclosed by aditch also tend to have sequential clusters of jar burials. Location C of Kuriyama cemetery, for example, was enclosed by a shallow ditch and comprised seven sequential clusters of jar burials and other types of burials (Figures 7 and 8; cf. Mizoguchi 1995b). The largest cluster in terms of the number of burials it comprised was composed of six burials (burials58, 59, 62, 77 and 78 and pit burial no. 4). A female buried in jar burial no. 61 wore 14shell armlets. A child in jar burial no. 51 was also offered a shell armlet. By contrast, many of the cemeteries that yielded few or no grave goods showed an identical pattern to that of the Uraedani cemetery, i.e., they revealed no sequential clusters of jar burials. Examples of this type of cemetery are many.
Mizoguchi observed from the orientations and sequential clustering of the jars that there were two kinds of spatial patterns, one that showed genealogical history or connections, and the other kind that did not; He drew important conclusions about the former showed emergent elite stratification, land ownership based on network relationships, and that that genealogical history indicated long term settlement, stable land ownership and consequently success in competition for agricultural lands:
These two distinct patterns of cemetery spatial structure and formative process appear to be related to the different social categories or strata to which those who were interred in the cemeteries belonged. The sequential clusters of three or more burials, and those cemeteries that contain them, tend to be associated with grave goods and other characteristic sindicating that special care was taken and larger labour forces were mobilised. In contrast, those cemeteries exhibiting seemingly chaotic spatial structures yield few or no grave goods and rarely show any traces of special care or the mobilisation of considerable amounts of labour. This suggests that the former were cemeteries for groups that were internally differentiated and included higher-ranked subgroups/individuals, while the latter were cemeteries for groups that were internally homogeneous/undifferentiated and did not include higher-ranked subgroups/individuals. These examples suggest that burials of higher-ranked individuals tend to form sequential clusters  …
As we saw at Monden-tsujibatake, the burial jar was lowered into the pit as if pointing toward a pre-existing burial in a sequential burial cluster. As for the common structure of the grave pits used for jar burials, the mourners can be inferred to have stood watching the jar being lowered into the grave pit from the opposite side from which the jar was situated (Figure 9); the steps that commonly descend into the pit would have indicated the front of the pit as a locale (Figure 3C), and the grave pits appear to have commonly been covered by a small pile of soil (Mizoguchi 1995a) that would have prevented the mourners from standing upon them. … Location C of Kuriyama cemetery (Figures 7 and 8), the sequential cluster comprising jar burials nos. 58, 59, 62 and 77 and pit burial no. 4 was formed over a period of more than three burial jar typo-chronological stages that are likely to have spanned at least 100 years (Figure 1). This suggests that some at least of the sequential clusters were formed over a number of generations. It also suggests that the mourners of the latest burial in the sequential cluster did not have either direct contact with or firsthand knowledge of those who were buried in the earlier burials of the cluster (Mizoguchi 1995b: 86-8).
Relationship with settlements and their economy
It has been deduced above that the difference between the cemeteries where sequential burial clusters developed and those where they did not was related to emergent social stratification. How is this difference reflected in the social geography of the region? Cemeteries where sequential burial clusters developed, such as Monden-tsujibatake and Kuriyama, tend to be associated with either a core settlement on the flood plain or a settlement of a certain durability and stability. Thesettlement that founded and used the cemetery of Monden-tsujibatake appears to have been stable in terms of its duration, which spanned from the late Early throughthe early Late Yayoi periods (cf. Ozawa2000: 12). This type of settlement can be described as having been successful in the competition for land, production and exchange, which is thought to have characterised the inter-communal relations of the Middle Yayoi period (Mizoguchi2002: 136-8, 157-61). In the period between the final Early Yayoi and early Middle Yayoi, numerous small-scale settlements budded off from the older settlements situated on the bottom of flood plains in response to a rapid (even ex-plosive) population increase. The Uraedani cemetery is located on one of the foothills of the mountains surrounding the flood plain of Sawara (Fukuoka Municipal Board of Education 2001). Although the settlement that founded and used this cemetery has not been excavated, it can be inferred from the general pattern of the period in the northern Kyushu region that its settlement had budded off from one of the settlements situated on the flood plain bottom when the carrying capacity of its surrounding lands reached its limit (e.g. Hashiguchi 1985: 98). The valley bottoms of the foothills would have been turned into rice paddies with a relatively small labour force because water could be easily obtained from springs and the construction of a large-scale irrigation facility was unnecessary. In a majority of cases, however, those budded-off settlements remained small and were at times abandoned after only a couple of generations of occupation(cf. Hashiguchi 1987). The settlements relating to the two contrasted cemeteries were therefore also contrasted in their agriculture and economy.
This paper has revealed that the jar burial cemeteries of the late Middle Yayoi period of the northern Kyushu region can also be divided into two categories distinguished by the presence or absence of sequential burial clusters. The nature and the cause of this differentiation were investigated in terms of the formative process of the cemeteries and their associated settlements. Those cemeteries in which sequential burial clusters had developed tended to be associated with central or core settlements, while those cemeteries in which sequential burial clusters did not develop tended to be associated with ephemeral, short-lived settlements, many of which had budded off from the core settlements in order to reduce population pressure. This differentiation could be related to the emergent social stratification that had been stimulated by competition for desirable agricultural lands. The occupants of the stable, long-lived settlements, successful in the competition, practised burial in a manner which suggested genealogical depth and a consciousness of long-term ownership; while occupants of the ephemeral, short-lived settlements, unsuccessful in competition, exhibited no such expectations in their cemeteries. This even suggests that the people of the late Middle Yayoi period had begun to separate into those that had history and those that did not.
In that sense, the generation of historical consciousness in the northern Kyushu region of Japan was closely related to the beginning of social stratification.”
In the Yayoi burials, the jar burial practices are closely associated with rice paddies, and given the elite status burials, although it was not addressed, it is assumed they indicated predominantly though not exclusively, a patrilineal genealogy.  The late Neolithic burials were predominantly infant burials, often associated with the presence of female Venus figurines.  This begs several questions, where and when did jar burial practice become appropriated for the use of patrilineal lineages?  In the case of infant burials, the pots were often household cooking pots, with later Iron Age/Bronze Age mortuary practices, the larger mortuary vessels were obviously mass-produced indicating elite control of considerable resources. Did the practice begin with millet agriculturalists or rice agricultural groups?
In view of the adjacent regional burial jar practices, it would be helpful to discern whether such similar spatial sequential patterns will be revealed from the jar burials of coastal populations on the continent and Korean peninsular. It might also be helpful to determine the origin or provenance of the bronze mirror interred in or nearby some of the elite jar burials to determine possible ancestral network links with continental populations.
Kaneko, Erika A review of Yayoi period burial practices, Asian Perspectives, IX, 1966
Examining jar burial sites at the Uenojiri, Nishidaihata, Minami-koizumi, Joban and Kashiyama sites, these jars were deemed to be most similar to the ones excavated from South Korea, possibly the Yongsan River as the probable source of origin of the practice, within an identified nuclear area of radial expansion from “the Lungshanoid horizon of South China“. The Japanese burial jars were distinguished from the ones found in North Korea. In this connection, see also Riotto, Maurizii, Jar-Burials in Korea and Their Possible Social Implications, Korea Journal Vol.35. No.3 ( Autumn, 1995 )   (pp.40~53) 


Comparing burial practices in Southeast Asia:

3,000 ybp Jar burial traditions can be traced to the Neolithic cultures dating from around 3000 ybp. Source: Jar burial tradition in Southeast Asia, 2003 in Journal of Sciences VNU, Museum of Anthropology, Hanoi National University. Jar burial traditions can be traced to the Neolithic cultures dating from around 3000 ybp. 

Jar burials of Thailand:

2100 BCE~ca 200 CE    Nom Nok Tha and Ban Na Di prehistoric subadult jar burial sites of Ban Chiang northeast Thailand. see Pietrewsewsky, Michael, Ban Chiang, a Prehistoric Village Site in Northeast Thailand I: The Human Skeletal Remains 

~1050 BC. The Ban Lam khao infant jar burials: 
The cemetery included 110 individual burials, men, women, children and infants laid out in rows typical of Bronze Age Thailand, primarily extended burials with the heads pointed to the southeast. Infants were placed in jar burials found almost universally near the head of the extended burial of an adult. Most adult burials included pottery, generally cord-marked, red-slipped and burnished pots with broadly flaring rims. Ban Lum Khao is an early Angkor civilization site, located in the Mun River valley of northeast Thailand. The site was settled during the late Neolithic, but used throughout the Iron Age (ca 2500 BC-AD 400). One important element of the site is a Bronze Age cemetery, begun ~1050 BC. The cemetery includes at least 110 graves, with very few differentiation in grave goods, suggesting an egalitarian community, despite its location 20 km from the sharply socially divided and similarly dated site of Ban Non Wat.   
In central and southern Vietnam:
2,600ybp ~ 1 A.D. The distinctive feature of the burial jars here are that two burial jars are used and joined together. From about 2600 BP to I AD are over 70 burial sites, most of which jar burial sites, located on the sand dune or slow hill and mound along the coastal and river or the old flow or river. More jar burials were also uncovered on the islands.
“The iron and bronze artifacts were common among the grave goods. There were revealed the evidences of local iron and glass making. A great number of bronze implements, shown the closed relationships with Dong Son culture to the North (Pl.2). In the final stage (I, II. BC to I. AD), the Han China influences were strong, these might be came by the political way, at this juncture, northern and central parts of Central Vietnam were Han District “Nhat Nam/ Jinan”.” – Jar burial tradition in Southeast Asia Hanoi National University of Social Science, Museum of Anthropology
Palaeo- metallic mortuary-jar container sites (ca. 200 BC to AD 1200)
500 B.C.~43 A.D. In areas of northeast Thailand, and in the Dong Son culture in northern Vietnam, there are burials of infants.  The affinities and exchanges between these regions are seen in the material utensils, ornaments, tools and ceramics, the latter show features include: water waves, zig-zags, and similar bird themes and shapes. 
Theories about the origins of infant jar burials. 
Nancy Scott Hehm Dowling (1987) presented “an alternative hypothesis” “research indicates that there is no virtually no evidence for jar burials in South China. Rather North China exhibits a continuous jar burial tradition reserved almost exclusively for infants and children, and only in rare instances for adults. Furthermore these jar burials represent only a small percentage of total Neolithic burials which suggests that “jar burial deaths” were somehow different from other ones. Though an unusual burial form in North China, jar burials appeared suddenly in great numbers for both adults and children in south Korea-north Kyushu when large scale population movements from North China sought refuge farther east c.300 B.C.” Dowling contends  “that the burial traditions of North China required the inhabitants to perform jar burials once they moved away from their ancestral homeland. This explains both the sudden appearance and widespread practice of jar burials in both south Korea-north Kyushu and Palawan.” Dowling further concludes from her analysis of three Jar burial sites Tabon, Sa-huynh and Kalanay that the jar burial tradition spread elsewhere north and south among the Southeast Asian island cultures from the Philippines. She observes that the sites “shared a similar funerary tradition while the individual sites exhibit regional specialization of ceramic forms and designs”.  – The jar burial in South East Asia: An alternative hypothesis. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. 
Since Dowling wrote the paper in 1987 however, major discoveries of large burial jar cemeteries in Southeast Asia have emerged. 
2,000 ybp
SEAsia Prehistory told in jar burial, No.10, Vol.1, Dec 2011 Vietnam Heritage Magazine
“Burial jars that dated to 2,000 years ago from the Sa Huynh culture  have been excavated from Ma Voi, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province. “In Vietnam, this form of burial has been found from north to south, but most notably in the Sa Huynh culture in central Vietnam, where the jars are today found scattered on sandy mounds along the coast from Thua Thien Hue Province to Binh Thuan Province. The jars found in this area are mostly buried vertically, in groups or separately.
The jars found in this area are in the shape of a cylinder or an egg, and all have a cover and white sand and the belongings of the dead inside. In Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh City, jars are buried in a zone of areas where people once lived and produced ceramics.
The jars in Can Gio are buried close to or on top of each other. There are spherical jars containing entire skeletons. The belongings are found either inside or outside the jars.
In the jar tombs in Can Gio District, by the sea coast in Ho Chi Minh City, there are, along with ceramic stoves once used on boats or in houses on stilts, ornaments nearly identical with examples found in other places in Southeast Asia. They include strings of pearls, bracelets and earrings made of precious stones such as nephrite, hade or agate and glass. Some earrings have two animal heads.”  


Sa Huynh burial culture, Bình Giang, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
890 B.C. In the Philippines, while the Tabon caves jar burials are ~1st millennium BC (Fox 1970); those of the Seminoho rockshelter and the Cotobato Highland jar burials of southern Mindanao could date to AD 600 (Kurjack and Sheldon 1970, 1971).
In the Philippines, jar burials are found mostly on Palawan Island
4,630±250 B.P.  Radio-carbon dated to the Early Neolithic Period, Duyong Cave is located in the southwest coast of Palawan Island. Fox [1970: 60–64, Fig.18 and Pl.8] retrieved a 20~30-year-old male skeleton in a flexed position. The teeth were stained probably from betel 3) chewing. Grave good materials included one polished stone adze and four tridacna shell adzes; shell lime containers and shell ornaments. The adzes were placed along the sides of the body. Near the right ear were two perforated shell disks.  Another shell disk pendant was found on the chest. Near the feet were six whole arca shells. The Duyong Cave artifacts belonging to the Early Neolithic Period were all made from local materials.  Grave goods in this neolithic burial site include a shell adze made from the hinges of the giant clams (Tridacna gigas), and a stone adze made of andesite. The shell and stone adzes would take more energy to acquire and manufacture. Since tridacna gigas are deep-sea species, it means that people have to dive for these prestige items.
2,660±80 B.P. and 2,840±80 B.P. (radiocarbon dates) The Tabon Cave site has four chambers, situated in the southwestern coast of Palawan Island. Two chambers were utilized for burials.  Finds of grave goods included a rich assemblage of 83 jade beads, 4 jade bracelets, 48 stone beads, 3 agate bracelets, 2 shell bracelets, and 17 shell beads.4) Shell beads were of two types: thin and flat. Black and white banded onyx beads were barrel-shaped. Some of the jade beads were polyhedral in cross-section, especially in the Tabon Cave.  

Mannungul burial jar Image credit: Philip Maise, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

710 B.C and 890 B.C. “Chamber A is a jar burial site belonging to the Late Neolithic Period.  The burial jars are placed upright in caves on high mountains near the coast. Grave goods include ceramic bird statues and the famous Mannungul jar. s. In Manunggul Cave, Chamber A, the most prominent were objects made of jade. Other precious stones likewise found in the grave site were agate, jasper, and chalcedony. According to the Distribution Map of Gemstone and Decorative Materials Found in the Philippines published by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, these three gems are found in the Philippines. Jasper is a very common stone that is widely distributed all over the islands. However, all three are found outside the Palawan mainland. This confirms that all gemstones, including jade, found in Palawan were brought in. These trade items were more prestigious than the local ornaments because of their rarity, difficulty of acquisition and the additional energy needed to obtain them.” – Baretto-Tesoro, Grace, Burial Goods in the Philippines: An Attempt to Quantify Prestige Values
“The Tabon Cave, Palawan, Philippines had “a highly sophisticated assemblage of earthenware burial jars, including the now famous Manunggul Jar, dated by associated charcoal (at the University of California at Los Angeles) to 710 B.C and 890 B.C (R.Fox 1979:233). The earlier jar burials provided a range of grave goods, including jade beads and bracelets and three agate beads, but no objects of metal, glass or carnelian. The pottery vessels display a remarkable expertise including arguably the most impressive example from Southeast Asia, a vessel 66.5cm in height, topped by a soul boat transporting away the dead. In addition to this jar -burial assemblage it was uncovered a red-slipped bowl with ring stand.” – Jar burial tradition in Southeast Asia Hanoi National University of Social Science, Museum of Anthropology.
754 B.C., 91 B.C. and 179 B.C. are three C-14 dates are associated with the entry of Kalanay complex pottery complex to the Visayan Islands, southern Philippines during Late Neolithic times.  In all three of these sites the pottery is associated with stone tools of Late Neolithic type and no metal is present. These dates are 754 ± 100 B.C. for Cave Number 2 at Batungan Mountain and 91 B.C. and A.D. 179 for two of the Bato Cave sites. The great majority of the sites have associated iron and/or bronze, and some contain Chinese porcelain.

Ban Chiang

Wat Pho Ni, Ban Chiang, Kiwiodysee, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In Laos:

The jar burials are distinctive for the exposed jar burials holding secondary burial of bone. 
350~600 A.D.   First is Lao Pako, an open site in Vientiane Province where excavations recovered pottery, metal items, glass beads, stone artefacts, spindle whorls and other items in deposits dating to 350-600 AD. Distinctive at this site are five jar burials, three of infants or children in pots with red slip on the upper body and containing iron artefacts. This has been interpreted by Kallen as a metaphor for the infants being placed back into the womb before being interred. Kallen proposed that the shape, colour and decoration of the pots symbolise female bodies in a ritual burial practice, and the iron artefacts were a metaphor for human procreation via the smelting process that produced them. This interpretation is noteworthy because it may also be applicable to other similar infant jar burial contexts elsewhere in Southeast Asia, implying a widely shared burial custom (Coupey, 2008).  Source:  Ben Marwick, “History and Practice of Archaeology in Laos.” Chapter in Handbook for East and Southeast Asian Archaeology  
500 or 600 B.C. to 550 A.D.  There were more than 100 Mysterious ‘Jars of the Dead’ unearthed from the Plain of Jars. According to Ancient burials revealed at mysterious Plain of Jars in Laos, Apr 23, 2016 the sites are thought to date from about 500 or 600 B.C. to A.D. 550.  A project is underway for DNA as well as strontium isotope analysis of the teeth remains found at the ancient burial grounds, at the Plain of Jars in central Laos. The project also aims to discover who made the jars, what they were used for and how the sites came into existence.  Source: Ancient burial ground discovered at the Plain of Jars, March 24, 2016  
The Tam Nang An Cave, Luang Prabang Province, northern Laos, yielded a 14C age of 1010 ± 50 BP (OZD 769) for human bone from the single exposed burial jar (Sayavongkhamdy and Bellwood 2000:103).
Thai-Myanmar border:
In the Tak Province between Thailand and Burma, exposed jar burial sites are associated with the Lawa hill people, and the 14th–16th centuries AD age of the sites is inferred from associated Chinese blue and white ware and Burmese and Sawankaloke ware (Shaw 1985:93–102, 1986: 10–3; Pitiphat 1992:11–5). But while the Tak sites are contemporaneous with those of the Cardamom Mountains, the former are of cremated bone.
In Cambodia:
1420–1440     The most extensive site with the largest collection of skeletal remains in Cambodia is the Cardamom Mountain Jar and Coffin burial site of Phnom Khnang Peung (first reported by Beavan et al. (2012a). The discovery had 40 intact Mae Nam Noi and late Angkorian-era ceramic burial jars, holding 152 individuals, the earliest burials of the Phnom Khnang Peung site were radiocarbon dated to cal AD 1420–1440. The jar burials did not last beyond 45 periods. (Source: Radiocarbon Dates from the Highland Jar and Coffin Burial Site of Phnom Khnang Peung, Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia )
The_Mystery_of_the_Jar_and_Coffin_Burials_in_the_Cardamom_Mountains (Royal Geographical Magazine) Cambodia’s cardamom mountains jar burials of pear-Po peoples. In Koh Kong, is the Discovery of new Jar Burial site in the Cardamom mountains

Burial jar mortuary practices have survived till rather recent times in some parts of Island Southeast Asia, especially in the Indo-Malayan triangle:

In the Niah caves, jar burials occurred sparsely, but the burials with bronzes raised a question of a different route via the mainland Southeast Asia, than the out-of-Taiwan Austronesian dispersal: 

“The oldest intact jar burials in the archipelago were excavated in the Neolithic cemeteries at the
Niah Caves, predominantly the West Mouth but also several from the smaller Lobang Jeragan
cemetery (Table 8.1). The term ‘Neolithic’ is qualified by the occurrence of three small bronze
items amongst the sparse assemblage of grave goods, two inside jar burials and the third found
with an extended burial. Dating all three bronzes to earlier than 500 cal. BC – making them
the archipelago’s oldest dated bronzes – is conservative in view of the 1500–1414 cal. BC and
812–559 cal. BC determinations on the two dated burials with bronze (Lloyd-Smith et al. 2013).
Moreover, the appearance of bronze – undocumented for Taiwan sites of this antiquity (Valentin
et al. 2015) – raises a legitimate question of whether the source for the Niah jar burials should be
traced to Mainland Southeast Asia, where sites such as Ban Non Wat, Ban Lum Khao and Nong
Nor included jar burials by the second millennium BC and bronze by the end of the millennium
(Bulbeck 2011; Higham 2011).” – David Bulbeck, Traditions of Jars as Mortuary
Containers in the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago

“In the Niah cave sites of Sarawak, Tom Harrisson identified both jar burials and boat-type coffins in several locations (Harrisson 1962) and embarked on a sophisticated plan for the dating of coffin wood, including an estimation of inbuilt age. The direct dating of 1 site that produced a calendar date age range of between 891 A.D.and 1117 was thought to be in good agreement with associated ceramic tradeware and Chinese coins (Table 2, Figure 8; Szabo et al. 2008:159–60). … Exposed burials using stoneware jars in Borneo’s Kelabit Highlands and in Berawan may date to about the 14th–16th centuries AD, and aspects of the ritual form are still used in modern funeral rites (Harrisson 1962, 1974; Metcalf and Huntington 1991:74–83).

In Island Southeast Asia,  jar burials of exposed and interred types are predominant in eastern Indonesia from ~1000 BC and continue to as late as the 19th century AD (Bellwood 1976:254–84, 290). 

South Sumatra Muara Betung Kundurun

Burial flask and a stone adze from the South Sumatran sites Indonésie. Credit image: Soeroso Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient Année 1997 84 pp. 418-422 

Five sites with jar burials, at least four also containing direct interments (Table 8.2), are recorded for Nusatenggara. Melolo is an extensive urn field with hundreds of large globular jars covered by a smaller upside-down pot, most containing just a single skull, but others containing skulls of multiple individuals and/or a few limb bones. The site is renowned for its burnished kendi flasks with incised human faces, interred as grave goods along with a range of shell ornaments, stone axes and beads, spindle whorls, glass items and bronze fragments (Van Heekeren 1972; intarti 2000). Bellwood (1997) interprets kendi flasks as a widely distributed Palaeometallic chronological marker, also recorded at Leang Buidane, Hagop Bilo, as well as Gunung Piring on Lombok and Liang Bua on Flores (where jar burials have not been documented), and Anyer Lor n Java. Source: Soeroso, Indonésie. Recent discoveries of jar burial sites in South Sumatra, Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient Année 1997 84 pp. 418-422  The urn burials of Muara Betung(which included iron artefacts and stone adzes), Kunduran are said to belong to the same single layer of the Early Metal Phase including the Nusatengara, Java, Bali, Sulawesi jar burial sites and other coastal maritime burial culture groups seen from Vietnam all the way to the Philippines, dating from ~600 B.C. to a few second centuries A.D.

The Minahasa (North Sulawesi, Indonesia) which turned up stone burial jars carved with European-costumed figures, and associated Chinese ceramics, infer a 1500 A.D. period (Bellwood 1976:254).

These examples provide a brief overview of the prevalence, wide geographical range, and chronologies of exposed burial rituals in the Southeast Asian region, and that these are the ritual practices of highland cultures. Source: Jar burials in the Cardamom Mountains

Many more examples of mortuary burial jars (see Bulbeck’s map below), particularly larger jars over 1m in height, are catalogued, recorded and described in detail by David Bulbeck in Traditions of Jars as Mortuary Containers in the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago (chapter from Contextualizing the Neolithic occupation of South Vietnam)  

Burial Jar Map Indon Malayan

Burial jar sites on the Indon-Malayan archipelago Image credit: Bulbeck, Traditions of Jars as Mortuary Containers in the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago  (chapter from Contextualizing the Neolithic occupation of South Vietnam)  p. 142

Who were the burial peoples?

Establishing N9 (mtDNA) haplogroup East-West Eurasia-wide Neolithic and O3 (yDNA) haplogroup Asia-wide Austronesian genetic affinities or relationships of the jar burial populations.
Many N9a sequences are found in MSEA/ISEA:

Thailand – Haplogroup N9a3a – Thailand (Mon from Lopburi Province and Kanchanaburi Province)
Thailand – Haplogroup N9a1c – Thailand (Khon Mueang from Chiang Mai Province
Thailand – Haplogroup N9a12 – Khon Mueang (Pai District)
Thailand – Haplogroup N9a6 – Thailand (Phuan from Lopburi Province, Khon Mueang from Lamphun Province, Phutai from Sakon Nakhon Province, Lawa from Mae Hong Son Province Haplogroup, Soa from Sakon Nakhon Province
Haplogroup N9a10 – Thailand (Khon Mueang from Mae Hong Son Province, Chiang Mai Province, Lamphun Province, and Lampang Province, Shan from Mae Hong Son Province, Lao Isan from Loei Province, Black Tai from Kanchanaburi Province, Phuan from Sukhothai Province and Phichit Province, Mon from Kanchanaburi Province, Hmong
Thailand – Haplogroup N9a1c – Lao Isan from Loei Province
Thailand – Haplogroup N9a12 – Khon Mueang (Pai District)
In Laos:
Laos – Haplogroup N9a10 – Lao from Luang Prabang,
Laos – Haplogroup N9a11 – Lao from Luang Prabang
Vietnam – Haplogroup N9a-C16261T* – Vietnam (Kinh)
Vietnam – Haplogroup N9a1c – Vietnam (Tay people) 
Vietnam – Haplogroup N9a1c – Vietnam (Tay people) 
Vietnam – Haplogroup N9a6 – Soa from Sakon Nakhon Province, Vietnam [TMRCA 11,972.5 ± 5,491.7 ybp; CI=95%
Vietnam – Haplogroup N9a10 – Vietnam (Tay Nung)
Cambodia – Haplogroup N9a6a – Cambodia (Khmer)
Malaysia- Haplogroup N9a6a – (Bidayuh, Jehai, Temuan, Kensiu), Sumatra, Sundanese
Malaysia – Haplogroup N9a6b – Malaysia (Seletar)
Malaysia – Haplogroup N9a4 [TMRCA 7,900 (95% CI 3,900 <-> 14,300) ybp
Sumatra – Haplogroup N9a6a – Sumatra, Sundanese
Sumatra – Haplogroup N9a6 – Sumatra [TMRCA 11,972.5 ± 5,491.7 ybp; CI=95%
Haplogroup N9a10a2 – Philippines (Ivatan)
In Taiwan:
Haplogroup N9a1 – Chinese (Hakka in Taiwan, etc.)
Haplogroup N9a11 – Taiwan (Hakka, Minnan)
Haplogroup N9a3a – Taiwan (incl. Paiwan)
Haplogroup N9a4b1 – Taiwan (Minnan in Taiwan, etc.)
Haplogroup N9a10a – China, Taiwan (Ami)
Haplogroup N9a10a2 – Taiwan (Ami)
Haplogroup N9a10a2a – Taiwan (Atayal, Tsou)
Haplogroup N9a11 – Taiwan (Hakka, Minnan) 
East Asia/NEAS:
Haplogroup N9a1a – Chinese (Sichuan, Zhanjiang, etc.) [TMRCA 7,300]
Haplogroup N9a2b – China
Haplogroup N9a2e – China
Haplogroup N9a3 – China [TMRCA 11,500 (95% CI 7,500 <-> 16,800) ybp
Haplogroup N9a4b2 – China
Haplogroup N9a1 – Chinese (Hakka in Taiwan, etc.), She, Tu
Haplogroup N9a10 China (incl. Han in Chongqing)
Haplogroup N9a10a1 – Chinese (Suzhou)
Haplogroup N9a1 –  Korea, Japan [TMRCA 9,200 (95% CI 7,100 <-> 11,600) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2 – Japan, Korea [TMRCA 10,700 (95% CI 8,200 <-> 13,800) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a – Japan, Korea [TMRCA 8,100 (95% CI 6,500 <-> 10,000) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a1 – Japan [TMRCA 4,200 (95% CI 1,850 <-> 8,400) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a2 – Japan, Korea [TMRCA 5,700 (95% CI 3,500 <-> 8,900) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a3 – Japan[TMRCA 4,700 (95% CI 2,400 <-> 8,400) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a4 – Japan [TMRCA 2,800 (95% CI 600 <-> 7,900) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2c [TMRCA 7,200 (95% CI 3,600 <-> 12,700) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2c* – Japan
Haplogroup N9a2c1 – Japan [TMRCA 3,700 (95% CI 2,000 <-> 6,100) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2d – Japan [TMRCA 4,900 (95% CI 1,650 <-> 11,400) ybp
Haplogroup N9a3a – Japan, Korean (Seoul)
Haplogroup N9a4a – Japan [TMRCA 4,400 (95% CI 1,500 <-> 10,200) ybp
Haplogroup N9a4b [TMRCA 5,700 (95% CI 2,400 <-> 11,400) ybp
Haplogroup N9a4b* – Japan
Haplogroup N9a5 [TMRCA 8,700 (95% CI 4,700 <-> 15,000) ybp
Haplogroup N9a5* – Korea
Haplogroup N9a5a – Japan
Haplogroup N9a5b – Japan [TMRCA 5,300 (95% CI 1,150 <-> 15,300) ybp
Haplogroup N9a7 – Japan
Haplogroup N9a8 – Japan
Central Asia/ North Asia:
Haplogroup N9a1 –  Uyghur, Tuvan, Mongolia, Khamnigan [TMRCA 9,200 (95% CI 7,100 <-> 11,600) ybp
Haplogroup N9a1b – Kyrgyz (Tashkurgan)
Haplogroup N9a2 –  China (Barghut in Hulunbuir, Uyghur, etc.) [TMRCA 10,700 (95% CI 8,200 <-> 13,800) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a – Uyghur [TMRCA 8,100 (95% CI 6,500 <-> 10,000) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a2 – Volga-Ural region (Tatar) [TMRCA 5,700 (95% CI 3,500 <-> 8,900) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2a3 – Hulun-Buir region (Barghut) [TMRCA 4,700 (95% CI 2,400 <-> 8,400) ybp
Haplogroup N9a2c1 – Uyghur [TMRCA 3,700 (95% CI 2,000 <-> 6,100) ybp
Haplogroup N9a8 – China, Buryat
Haplogroup N9a9 – Chelkans (Biyka, Turochak), Tubalar (North-East Altai), Kyrgyz (Kyrgyzstan), China, Ukraine (Vinnytsia Oblast)  [Note: N9 migration from Central Asia to Europe here:], Romania (10th century AD Dobruja)
N9b sequences are uniquely found in NEAS/Japan:

Haplogroup N9b – Japan, Udegey, Nanai, Korea[40] [TMRCA 14,885.6 ± 4,092.5 ybp; CI=95%[34]]
Haplogroup N9b1 – Japan [TMRCA 11,859.3 ± 3,760.2 ybp; CI=95%[34]]
Haplogroup N9b1a – Japan [TMRCA 10,645.2 ± 3,690.3 ybp; CI=95%[34]]
Haplogroup N9b1b – Japan [TMRCA 2,746.5 ± 2,947.0 ybp; CI=95%[34]]
Haplogroup N9b1c – Japan [TMRCA 6,987.8 ± 4,967.0 ybp; CI=95%[34]]
Haplogroup N9b1c1 – Japan
Haplogroup N9b2 – Japan [TMRCA 13,369.7 ± 4,110.0 ybp; CI=95%[34]]
Haplogroup N9b2a – Japan
Haplogroup N9b3 – Japan [TMRCA 7,629.8 ± 6,007.6 ybp; CI=95%[34]]
Haplogroup N9b4 – Japan, Ulchi
For the Iron Age/Bronze Age period burial cultures have been attributed to Lungshanoid culture or Austronesian culture, much more needs to be investigated before a coherent picture of the spread of jar burial cultures can be determined.
YDNA O3 haplogroup Austronesian associated with Austronesian an larger jar palaeo-metal age burials sequences. Wei’s 2017 study Phylogeography of Y-chromosome haplogroup O3a2b2-N6 reveals patrilineal traces of Austronesian populations on the eastern coastal regions of Asia :
 discovered that
“all samples from Austronesian populations belonged to haplogroup O3a2b2a2b-B451, which was defined by 64 equivalent polymorphisms. These results indicated that haplogroup O3a2b2a2b-B451 was shaped by a strong founder effect within Austronesian populations after a long-term bottleneck, reflecting either long-term isolation or long-distance migration.
On the other hand, all samples from mainland Asia belonged to other branches of O3a2b2-N6 which showed a clear phylogeographic pattern of paternal relationship to Austronesian-specific O3a2b2a2b-B451.
Most importantly, we found that O3a2b2a2*-F706(xB451) samples tended to appear on the eastern coastal regions of Asia, and are widely distributed on the eastern coastal regions of Asia, from Korea to Vietnam except for seven samples from Hunan province in central China (Fig 2C)”
This spread along the coastal regions can be mirrored by the findings of Huang’s 2010 study ( on migrations of Chaoshan EC high risk populations bearing Ydna O3 hgs(including O3*, O3e* and O3e1) see map ( See also related papers,Liu S, Huang B, Huang H, Li X, Chen G, et al.’s 2013 paper Patrilineal Background of Esophageal Cancer and Gastric Cardia Cancer Patients in a Chaoshan HighRisk Area in China. and Huang 2010 H. Su. M, Li X, et al Y-chromosome evidence for common ancestry of three Chinese populations with a high risk of esophageal cancer. PLoS One. 2010;5(6):e11118. Published 2010 Jun 15. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011118)


Elsewhere in South Asia:

Indian jar burial traditions are seen from the Chalcolithic period from Karnataka to West Bengal, but they are deemed to be very different from Southeast Asian ones, see Globalizing the Prehistory of Japan, Ann Kumar
MtDNA haplogroup N1d is found in India
On relevant mitogenome N9 phylogenetic tree and population history:
“Population history and phylogeography of the resulting mtDNA genomes, combined with those from previously published data sets, revealed a wide range of tribal- and region-specific mtDNA haplotypes that emerged or diversified in Siberia before or after the last glacial maximum, ∼18 kya. Spatial distribution and ages of the “east” and “west” Eurasian mtDNA haploclusters suggest that anatomically modern humans that originally colonized Altai derived from macrohaplogroup N and came from Southwest Asia around 38,000 years ago.” – Sukernik RI, Volodko NV, Mazunin IO, Eltsov NP, Dryomov SV, Starikovskaya EB. Mitochondrial genome diversity in the Tubalar, Even, and Ulchi: contribution to prehistory of native Siberians and their affinities to Native Americans. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2012 May;148(1):123-38. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22050. Epub 2012 Apr 4. PMID: 22487888.

Other studies indicate that N9a sequences appear to have their homeland expanding from the Altai area in Central Asia:

One of two mtDNA sequences obtained from the Capidava skeletal remains of two subadults possess the same haplotype belonging to hg N9a. “The medieval Capidava population analyzed here has a predominantly Western Eurasian haplogroup composition (H, R0, U3, U5, and V), the Eastern Eurasian component being represented by hg N9a with a frequency of 12.5% (S5 Table). In contrast to the other medieval populations analyzed in this study, the N9a haplotype is distinguished solely in the gene pool of the Capidava population. Characteristic N9a HVS-I polymorphisms have been identified in three human archaeological remains from the Carpathian Basin (Hungary), initially identified as early Neolithic (then revised as Sarmatian for two of the three samples, and Hungarian Conquest period for the third one) [52, 53]. Identical HVS-I haplotype was also found in an archaeological specimen (female) from Krasnoyarsk region, Siberia, dated to the Iron Age (100–400 AD) [54]. The presence of the N9a maternal lineage in the gene pool of medieval representatives from the Southeastern region of the extra Carpathian Basin (Dobruja) supports the idea of a “westward genetic influence of nomads from eastern Central Asia” [55]. N9a frequencies in modern European populations are extremely low and it is mainly found in the Volga-Ural region Tatars (~1%), Czechs (0.6%) and Russians from Southwestern Russia (1.5%), all potential donor or acceptor spaces for our population [56–58]. In our dataset of modern populations (S8), the highest frequencies (0.61%-1.61%) of N9 can be identified in three populations (KAZ, KGZ, and UZB) from Central Asia. Lower frequencies (0.13%-0.28%) of this maternal lineage can be observed in Eastern Europe (CZE, UKR) and in Southern Europe (ESP)”; “Remarkable for this site is the presence of both Central Asiatic (N9a) and common European mtDNA haplotypes, establishing Capidava as a point of convergence between East and West.” Data obtained in this study suggest that “in this particular case the haplogroups with low frequencies in modern populations (e.g. N9a) may be more informative than common genetic variants. The presence of the Central Asian N9a haplotype connected to ancient and conqueror Hungarian individuals, an ancient Siberian sample and modern Volga-Ural, Southwestern Russian, and Czech groups seem to place Capidava in a genetic landscape dominated by Turkic influences.” Genetic affinities towards Central Asia are indicated as mitochondrial data of the two skeletal remains “share their two private coding region variants with two modern individuals, one belonging to the Tubalar ethnic group (Altai Republic) and one belonging to the Kyrgyz ethnic group” Source: Rusu I, Modi A, Vai S, Pilli E, Mircea C, Radu C, et al. (2018) Maternal DNA lineages at the gate of Europe in the 10th century AD. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0193578.

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