This paper uses small, locally-produced continental type mirrors excavated mainly from north Kyushu in order to develop new perspectives on the traditional unitary theory of the bronze production system in Yayoi Japan.<BR>Previous excavations and research have shown that bronze working was being carried out at the Suku site cluster in north Kyushu. As Suku seems to have been the center of this bronze working, it has been assumed that production and distribution were being managed from there. Many casting molds, which must serve as proof of bronze working, have, however, been found at other sites surrounding the Suku cluster. The aim of this paper is to clarify the relationship between these surrounding bronze production sites and the Suku cluster.<BR>Small, locally-produced continental mirrors were chosen as the object of analysis here because they are one of the few decorated bronzes found in north Kyushu. The presence of decoration permits the analysis of many attributes, enabling us to reconstruct the relationship between mirrors made in the same mold and the order in which they were produced.<BR>This paper develops mirror types using the decoration on the back of the mirrors and then examines the distribution of the types. As a result, it was possible to distinguish phases when there were differences in the distribution of types and phases when the distribution was even. The production and circulation systems of small, locally-produced continental mirrors were then examined based on these differences. In phases when a great variety of decorations are recognized, casting molds are found at sites beyond the Suku cluster and it was concluded that both production and circulation were decentralized. In phases when mirror types with standardized, uniform designs were produced, molds are also found at the Suku cluster suggesting a concentrated form of production. This implies that the production and management of bronzes was not always stable. Furthermore, an analysis of the quantity of mirrors showed that it is highly likely that at the end of the Yayoi, bronze production had decreased even under the concentrated system of production.
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1 2004|