Left: Yabuzuka-honcho, Gunma Prefecture
Left: Shimofuda-cho, Chofu City, Tokyo.
honcho, Gunma Prefecture.
The left earring
is the most elaborate and biggest one among
the Kayano earrings. Only one of this
type has been excavated in this site,
while some were found in other sites, mostly
in Kanto area. Especially, Senamiyado
Site in Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture produced
many of this type.
is thought to be from a flower or a cross
section of a walnut.
The Museum of Earrings is in Shinto-mura
(Shinto Village) in Gunma Prefecture. It
holds hundreds of earrings, old and new,
Japanese and from abroad. Among them,
you can find many fascinating clay earrings
excavated at a Jomon site in this village,
Kayano Site is a
village site of Middle to early Final Jomon
in prehistoric Japan. Archaeologists found
a watering place, a working place near the
spring, pit dwellings, and burial sites preserved
in an excellent condition. The Jomon village
had been well preserved partly because it
was located on a slope and villages were
not constructed in the following periods,
the Yayoi and the Kofun Periods, to destroy
it. Also Mt. Haruna erupted in the
Kofun Period and piled a thick layer of volcanic
ash on the site. Thus, the whole village
was preserved as it was when it was abandoned.
have been dug out. There have never been
such a number of earrings found in a single
site. About 200 of these are unbroken,
none of which constitute a pair. Considering
that much of the site is still unexcavated,
archaeologists surmise that the actual number
of earrings existing in Kayano Site will
go up to over 2,000 pieces. They
think that if it is so, Kayano Site must
have been an important provider of earrings
to other villages around the area.
probably wore those earrings by piercing
a hole in their earlobes as an accessary
and/or a status symbol. The biggest
one is 9 cm in diameter, while the smallest
is about 1 cm. It is generally agreed
that the older they got, the bigger the hole
bacame and they could wear bigger earrings.
Some had red or black pigments.
The following earrings are from Kayano Site.
Museum of Earrings