Making Sense of Material Culture Transformation: A Critical Long-Term Perspective from Jomon- and Yayoi-Period Japan

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This JWP Focus paper argues that material culture transformation can be understood as the transformation of the way human beings and material culture mutually open up their potentialities. Such opening up/becoming takes place in the domains of their encounter, which often take the form of human communications. In communication, human beings and material culture mutually mediate/intervene/transform their modes of existence as the former cope with various uncertainties and risks that the world generates and that communication differentiates. Drawing upon the theory of communication developed by the social systems theorist, Niklas Luhmann, the paper will elucidate and elaborate this perspective through an examination of the long-term transformation of the mode of such mutual opening up/becoming by human beings and the material culture of their potentialities that took place in the Jomon and the Yayoi periods of Japan between 13000 Cal BC and AD 250/300.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of World Prehistory
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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