Paleoenvironment and Human Settlement in Japan and Korea

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Science  23 Sep 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4310, pp. 1239-1246
DOI: 10.1126/science.197.4310.1239


The climate of Japan changed from cooler than present (12,000 to 11,000 years ago) to warmer than present (8000 to 4000 years ago) to cooler than present (4000 to 1500 years ago). The height of the warm period coincides with the Jomon marine transgression, which flooded coastal lands and invaded river valleys. The Jomon culture of the post-Pleistocene shows changes in subsistence patterns and site location at different time periods. Although it is very long and there is definite cultural continuity, shifts in settlement patterns and the development of fishing and collecting techniques show that it was not static. Village layouts and intersite relationships are examined. While there is not yet enough information for the reconstruction of the environment of the Korean peninsula, investigations seem to show shifts in settlement location from low coastal areas to hills and slopes occurring at relatively the same time periods as in Japan. House plans and average size of dwellings in Korea are briefly discussed.