Irrigated rice culture appeared in 930 BCE in northern Kyushu

The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia: Establishment of High-Precision Chronology by Carbon 14 Age Analysis” (2004-2008)
(NISHIMOTO Toyohiro)

NMJH has been conducting studies on the application of high-precision C14 dating techniques with the use of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). This research was approved in order to confirm preliminary results that the Yayoi period had started in the 10th century BCE, or 500 years earlier than previous archaeological theories have proposed. At the end of 2003, NMJH established a research facility to create a framework for C14 dating experiments. With the award of the grant, the group decided to conduct nation-wide research on age determination, primarily of Yayoi period remains.

In the 2004 fiscal year, more than 2,000 samples of wood, seeds, and carbide residue on earthen vessels were extracted from 190 sites; among them, measurements were conducted on 500 samples. As a result, we speculate that irrigated rice cultivation of the Yayoi cultures first appeared in northern Kyushu approximately 930 BCE and that the “early Yayoi” period began around 800 BCE. We also tentatively concluded that “early Yayoi” culture appeared in the Chugoku and Kinai areas between 700 and 600 BCE, 100 to 200 years later than northern Kyushu. We are also beginning to get a clear picture of ocean reservoir effects and millet….

The earliest archaeological sites are Itazuke site or Nabata site in the northern part of Kyūshū. The origin of Yayoi culture has long been debated. Chinese influence was obvious in the bronze and copper weapons, dōkyō, dōtaku, as well as irrigated paddy rice cultivation. Three major symbols of the Yayoi Culture are the bronze mirror, the bronze sword, and the royal seal stone.

In recent years, more archaeological and genetic evidence has been found in both eastern China and western Japan to lend credibility to this argument. Between 1996 and 1999, a team led by Satoshi Yamaguchi, a researcher at Japan’s National Science Museum, compared Yayoi remains found in Japan’s Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures with those from early Han Dynasty (202 BC-8) in China’s coastal Jiangsu province, and found many similarities between the skulls and limbs of Yayoi people and the Jiangsu remains.<10>

Two Jiangsu skulls showed spots where the front teeth had been pulled, a practice common in Japan in the Yayoi and preceding Jōmon period. The genetic samples from three of the 36 Jiangsu skeletons also matched part of the DNA base arrangements of samples from the Yayoi remains

***

The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia: Establishment of High-Precision Chronology by Carbon 14 Age Analysis, National Museum of Japanese History

In recent years, more archaeological and genetic evidence has been found in both eastern China and western Japan to lend credibility to this argument. Between 1996 and 1999, a team led by Satoshi Yamaguchi, a researcher at Japan’s National Science Museum, compared Yayoi remains found in Japan’s Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures with those from early Han Dynasty (202 BC-8) in China’s coastal Jiangsu province, and found many similarities between the skulls and limbs of Yayoi people and the Jiangsu remains.[10] Two Jiangsu skulls showed spots where the front teeth had been pulled, a practice common in Japan in the Yayoi and preceding Jōmon period. The genetic samples from three of the 36 Jiangsu skeletons also matched part of the DNA base arrangements of samples from the Yayoi remains.

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Japanese Yayoi DNA linked to China’s Yangtze River area

Yayoi linked to Yangtze area
DNA tests reveal similarities to early wet-rice farmers

The Japan Times, March 19, 1999

Some of the first wet-rice farmers in Japan might have migrated from the lower basin of China’s Yangtze River more than 2,000 years ago, Japanese and Chinese researchers said Thursday.

This was suggested by DNA tests conducted by the researchers that showed genetic similarities between human remains from the Yayoi Period found in southwestern Japan and the early Han Dynasty found in China’s central Jiangsu Province, Satoshi Yamaguchi told reporters.

People who introduced irrigation techniques to the Japanese archipelago in the Yayoi Period (250 B.C.-300) were believed to have come to Japan either from the Korean Peninsula across the Tsushima Strait, or from northern China across the Yellow Sea.

The latest findings, however, bolster another theory suggesting the origin of the Yayoi people was an area south of the Yangtze, which is believed to be the birthplace of irrigated rice cultivation.

Yamaguchi, a researcher at Japan’s National Science Museum, said the researchers compared Yayoi remains found in Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures with those from early Han (202 B.C.- in Jiangsu in a three-year project begun in 1996.

The researchers found many similarities between the skulls and limbs of Yayoi people and the Jiangsu remains.

Two Jiangsu skulls showed spots where the front teeth had been pulled, a practice common in Japan in the Yayoi and preceding Jomon Period.
But the most persuasive findings resulted from tests revealing that genetic samples from three of 36 Jiangsu skeletons also matched part of the DNA base arrangements of samples from the Yayoi remains, the scientists said

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