Japan, Middle Jomon Period / Flame-Style Vessel / c. 2500 BCJapan, Middle Jomon Period
Flame-Style Vessel
c. 2500 BC

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Dates/Places: Japan
Creator Active Place: Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Japan, Middle Jomon Period
Title: Flame-Style Vessel
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: -250
Creation End Date: -249
Creation Date: c. 2500 BC
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramic
Materials and Techniques: earthenware with incised and applied decoration
Dimensions: Diameter: 55.8cm, Overall: 61cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1984.68
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Rights: http://www.clemusart.com/museum/disclaim2.html
Context: The earliest inhabitants of the islands of Japan were hunters and gatherers. They lived in small settlements along the coastline near river estuaries, or inland where game hunting and nut collecting sustained them. Many early Jomon settlements occur along the ocean coastlines, where marine life was plentiful and varied. Archaeologists excavating in sites where these roving bands of people lived, especially in their shell mounds (akin to a dump), have uncovered an array of household, hunting, and fishingartifacts. Later settlements reveal evidence of the cultivation of vegetables and berries (about 5000 BC) and then rice (about 1000 BC), the grain imported from Korea that became the islands' enduring source of sustenance. The numerous ceramic vessels recovered from these Jomon sites reveal the diversity of Japan's earliest settlers as well as their extraordinary efforts in fabricating such creative forms in clay for more than ten thousand years. This imposing vessel represents the type of form produced only in the Niigata area on the Japanese sea coast northeast of Tokyo. The basic shape was hand built from coils of clay and then embellished with applied clay coils arranged in a variety of exuberant planar and three-dimensional configurations. The coil decorations on the rim of the vessel and the unique "flame-style" are customarily found on objects excavated from Niigata sites. These forms developed over a period of many hundreds of years, yet they are particularly sculptural and immediate even today. For Jomon people however, such vessels served as daily cooking or storage vessels. This distinctive regional ceramic style suggests that the hunting-gathering people living in this region had the ability to maintain a reliable food supply. The balance of these two critical factors allowed the development of resources that could produce such extraordinary statements in utilitarian objects. M.R.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1984.68
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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