The moat abandoned, the settlement transformed at the start of the 2nd century

National Land Image(c)Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Japan
(Above photo was shot in 1987)

view of the feald Locus of the discovery of a whorl-shaped bronze shield ornament
A whorl-shaped bronze shield ornament was recovered from the southern settlement (near the pit-dwelling remains at the left edge of the photo). Pit-dwelling remains, pits, layers of fill, etc. pile up in complicated fashion, forming a culture-bearing layer of black-brown silt 60 to 80 cm thick.

view of the feald
Moat of middle Yayoi

view of the feald Mound Tomb of late Yayoi, unearthed Yamanaka style pottery

area map
The Late Yayoi period settlement
The southern settlement shrank to one-third its size as compared with the Middle Yayoi. Burials were made around the settlement’s periphery. Various bronze objects were recovered from within the settlement, suggesting it was a center of bronze production.

bronze artifact
Whorl-shaped bronze shield ornament
A whorl-shaped bronze ornament with five arms twisting to the left, and a dome-shaped central boss. A rod-shaped handle is housed within the boss. The state of preservation is exceedingly good, and red iron oxide has been detected on both the interior and exterior surfaces. Diameter 5.6 cm.

bronze artifacts
Bronze arrowheads
Bronze points approximately pentagonal in shape. Widely seen in the Owari region during the Late Yayoi, nearly 40 items have already been recovered at the Asahi Site. Length of the item on the right is 3.5 cm.

lithic artifacts
Stone arrowheads
These stemmed points are typical of the Middle Yayoi. The triangular point on the right is made of chert, the broad pentagonal point in the middle and the elongated pentagonal item on the left are made of an andesite found in the Hida region. Length of the item on the right is 4.2 cm.

lithic artifacts
Polished Stone Adzes

lithic artifact
Coarse flake tool

bone artifacts
Bone and antler implements
Discovered in layers of shell in ditches, and in natural water courses. From the left, a spatulate-shaped artifact of deer antler, a puncturing instrument made from the metatarsal bone of a deer, a conical bone point, a fixed harpoon head of deer antler, a flat bone point with a pentagonal outline. The fixed harpoon head is from the Late Yayoi, and the other items from the mid to latter thirds of the Middle Yayoi periods.

wooden artifact
Halberd-shaped wooden implement
A wooden implement imitating a bronze halberd. Although crudely made, it successfully captures the halberd’s characteristics. Length 24.6 cm.

wooden artifact
Wooden bowl

Takakura style pottery
Middle Yayoi.

Yamanaka style pottery
Pottery from a mounded grave of the first half of the Late Yayoi, comprised of an assemblage of items partially painted with red ochre (bengala). The jar at the rear is of a highly decorative palace style. The pedestaled dish at the right stands on a column-shaped leg, and like the bowl with the inward curving rim shows affinities with the Tango region. Height of the jar is 36 cm.

Photos courtesy of Aichi-ken Maizo-Bunkazai Center

Asahi Site, Kiyosu Town, Aichi Prefecture

Akatsuka Jirō, Kageyama Seiichi

Located in a low-lying portion of the Nobi Plain, the Asahi Site is a moated core settlement of the Yayoi period. Continuing from the Early Yayoi, the settlement changes at the start of the Middle Yayoi into a large moated settlement 800 m east-west by 300 m north-south (dimensions for the southern settlement). Further, a cluster of square moated burials, extending 400 m east-west, was formed. In addition, to the north a special settlement existed, somewhat small in scale but ringed by multiple moats. Taken together, the scale of these items can be inferred to extend over a wide area 1.4 km east-west, and 800 m north-south.

The moated village of the Late Yayoi period

In the Late Yayoi period, the northern settlement, ringed with multiple moats, and the southern settlement, though smaller in scale, continued to exist, but a cemetery precinct spread around the perimeter of southern settlement, with one portion of it forming beyond the moat. The southern settlement was rectangular in shape, approximately 300 m east-west by 180 m north-south, with an elliptical ditch dug within this area and provided with several entrances plus small projecting portions. Although details of the northern settlement are not clear because little progress has been made in its investigation, a scale of 230 m east-west and 200 m north-south is assumed.

The date of the last circular moat dug

In the most recent investigation, material enabling the determination of the final age for moat digging was obtained. Construction of the circular moat within the southern settlement dates to the first half of the Late Yayoi (the time of ceramic style Yamanaka I), with the Asahi site dissolving afterwards in rapid fashion, with no further digging of moats. A variety of bronze objects dating from that time have been recovered from the northern and southern settlements, and in the most recent investigation a whorl-shaped bronze shield ornament was found. Discoveries of bronze arrow points already number 40 items, indicating that conditions for the production of bronzes were favorable.