Shinshu obsidian forum

Shinsyu Obsidian Forum focus on obsidian exploitation and circulation as viewed from various disciplines.

The aim of this forum is to realize the advancement of the research and management of obsidian that has been carried out by local authorities and the Government of Nagano Prefecture.
The Center for Obsidian and Lithic Studies has taken a chair of managing office on this forum since 2009, for the development of obsidian studies, with particular attention paid to creating further collaboration among cities and towns within Nagano Prefecture.
Shinshu, the highland region of central Honshu, the main island in Japan, is one of the most famous obsidian source regions, specifically in the Wada Pass area, and obsidian from this area had been used heavily and widely beginning in the Upper Palaeolithic period and throughout the Jomon period. Obsidian studies have tremendous potential in the pursuit of the social organization of prehistoric societies through analyses of the exploitation and circulation of obsidian.
We have held this Forum three times since 2009, and the main discussion themes were focused on obsidian exploitation around the Wada Pass and Mt. Yatsugatake area, as viewed from various research disciplines. The following are samples of such:
  1. Eruption times and scale, and the formation of archaeological source areas
  2. Movement of raw materials and humans around obsidian
  3. Reconstruction of prehistoric society as viewed from obsidian studies
We have the opportunity to engage in discussions not only with regard to the archeological past, but also with regard to the cultural heritage management of obsidian in the modern world. In 2012, we plan to hold this forum again, with a central theme being “What brings obsidian to archaeology.”
Through physico-chemical analysis and archaeological studies, we are clarifying the present status of obsidian studies.

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