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A unique Neolithic female figurine from Tell Seker al-Aheimar, Northeast Syria (Nishiaki,Y. 2007 Paleorient 33/2.)

The research interests of this laboratory involve the reconstruction of prehistoric cultural histories by studying archaeological specimens, including lithic artifacts and pottery as well as non-artifactual materials such as archaeobotanical and archaeozoological remains. Our main research area comprises western Eurasia, with a particular focus on the Middle East, where we have conducted fieldwork on an almost annual basis. Our research spans a range of different periods, from the Paleolithic and its fossil hominids, to the Neolithic, which saw the emergence of farming and pastoralism, and to the Bronze and Iron Ages, which gave rise to ancient civilizations. Our unique research approach is evident in how the fieldwork is planned and conducted separately for each research subject, and how the recovered materials undergo interdisciplinary analyses. Along with our research, we are also engaged in work that involves cataloguing and exhibiting the vast archaeological collections stored in the University of Tokyo.

Laboratory members consist of post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, and technical staff specializing in West Asian archaeology. Students interested in joining us should be affiliated with the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo.


04-03, 2024

 “Catalogue of the Katsuhiko Ohnuma Lithic Technology Collection. UMUT Material Reports No. 133” has been published.

10-16, 2023

PaleoAsiaDB has been uploaded.

09-13, 2023

 “Middle and Upper Paleolithic Sites in the Eastern Hemisphere, A Database (PaleoAsiaDB)” has been published. (September, 2023)

07-31, 2023

A database of the Photographs from the 1956–1957 Season of Japanese Archaeological Investigations in the Levant, has been uploaded.

02-27, 2023

A database of Archaeological Archives in the Jiujiro Nakaya Collection, has been uploaded.