6. Architecture From The Jomon Era

What we have here is two models of a ancient village in Japan.

These mock ups of the village is used here as a point of reference.



Thatch is the most common material for the roofs of many culture.


Thatching is the craft of covering a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge, rushes and heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is probably the oldest roofing material and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. Thatch is still employed by builders in developing countries, usually with low-cost, local vegetation. By contrast in some developed countries it is now the choice of well-to-do people who want their home to have a rustic look.

Thatch is the easiest way to cover roofs. It protects from the winter cold and the summer heat. Some of the great houses in Japan continue to use thatch for roofing because it is so beautiful. You can see the thatch drying in the field in front of the house above.

The following small images show some houses built on stilts.



The little house below has an unusual shape and door opening.


In the next house you can get an idea of just how large it is by counting the floors.

Japan is a country with many mountains. One of these can be see behind this house.



The stilts may have made the house cooler if the summers were hot.



The house in summer.


and then houses in snow.


Of particular not is the object sticking above the Japanese lettering to the right side of the museum entrance. Given how fierce this object is, I wonder if it was being used to protect the building?


The Sannai-Maruyama site is a Jomon period site where continuous occupation took place for a long period of time about 5500 ~ 4000 years ago. This is one of the medium sized buildings. I do not know why the tall wood structure was built. I suspect it was some sort of lookout. Fire was particularly awful if you lived in a thatch house.

More views of Sannai-Maruyama



The following images show you the place where the huge beams were placed to support the roof of a house. The Archeologists have not given us any more pictures from the site, so we can not follow their process.


Those holes were quite large. Imagine the weight of that tree trunk and what it might have taken to get it from the forest to the site, trim the branches and then to make the tree stand upright in those holes. Wow.


The next two images show you a pot used for burial and a grave. The Jomon culture buried their dead in a broken pot. Interesting.

A closer look at life in Sannai-Maruyama. I happen to like this way of giving us an idea of life at a particular time.


Given that pottery is so important and impressive in Japan, I did not make a separate page for every day things. Here we have two examples, one the beads and then the woven basket. That is all I have for now.





Please send me any thoughts you have as you have just finished the unit on Japan.

Please let me know if you have any further questions so that I might improve this page for others.

Please tell me if you did any of the things that I suggested in Information for Teachers and Students.


Send your ideas, thoughts, and findings to me.


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