c. 2500 BCE
Earthenware with carved and applied decoration
Height: 61 cm (24 in.); Diameter: 55.8 cm (21 15/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1984.68
Scientifically tested residues from Jōmon vessels reveal that their makers consumed detoxified acorns.
Archaeologists call this kind of vessel “fire-flame,” ka’en in Japanese, because their tops resemble flames. No one knows why the design was created, or what it actually represents. This example is remarkable for the amount that is original. It was recently determined that the bottom from a different vessel was used during its reconstruction, creating a false impression of its intended scale; it would have been about four inches shorter. Since their lower portions were set into holes in the ground during use, bases of pots like these often deteriorated.
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