Go Forward

Greetings from the director

Director, Prof. Dr.Yoshiro ABE

The Center for Obsidian and Lithic Studies is an affiliated research facility of Meiji University established in April 2001 at Nagawa-cho, Chiisagata-gun, Nagano-ken, where obsidian source sites exit, in collaboration with Nagawa-cho. Since 2016 this center carries out multidisciplinary research from the Paleolithic to the Jomon periods as well as the study of sourcing obsidians.
Research System
Several laboratories are needed to carry out various studies simultaneously. Now we have a new research center for various related fields also in the Surugadai campus in Tokyo and work collaboratively with the center at Nagawa-cho. We also carry out collaborative research with Cluster for History of Natural Resource Utilization, Research Institute for Natural Resources, Research Institute for Japanese Prehistorical Culture within Meiji University, and with Laboratory of Radiocarbon Dating at the University Museum of the University of Tokyo outside Meiji University to expand the scope of research.
Multifaceted Research on Human History
In the obsidian research, physical and chemical analyses of obsidian remains allow estimation of their sources, and the distribution of obsidian remains from the Paleolithic to the Jomon periods came to be clarified. And by collaborating with foreign institutes, we are refining the techniques of obsidian sourcing.
In the research center in the Surugadai campus, animal, plant, and human skeletal remains excavated from archaeological sites are studied as well as prehistorical artifacts. We also carry out physical and chemical analyses of lacquer and pigments to solve the history of lacquer technique from the Jomon period to the present. By collaborating with the Laboratory of Radiocarbon Dating, University Museum, the University of Tokyo, we carry out the diet analysis with human bones and the analysis of carbonized remains on pottery.
Thus, by collaborating with research facilities within and outside Meiji University, we promote multifaceted analyses to solve the human society in prehistory. We hope to expand multidisciplinary research by adding latest analytic methods in the future.
Promotion of Research Results to Society
As for the promotion to the open society, we publish research results as research papers, conference reports, and books, and also organize symposia, lectures, and exhibitions at museums. These symposia, lectures, exhibitions are organized in collaboration with research facilities within and outside Meiji University, and local boards of education, and museums that manage archaeological sites and houses excavated remains to welcome not only researchers, but students and citizens interested in this field of research.
Now we also carry out research to promote preservation and use of several national historic sites including other important archaeological sites, collaborating with local boards of education.

Director for COLS
Yoshiro Abe