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“A fascinating glimpse of early man”

Omori Midden Site Park
Ranked #34 of 162 things to do in Shinagawa
Attraction details
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Omori Shell Mound Park commemorates the site of Japan’s first archeological dig, a Jomon period (14,000 BC to 300 BC) seaside village. The site was first identified by Edward Sylvester Morse, an American zoologist, in 1877 as he rode the train from Yokohama to Tokyo, having just arrived in Yokohama by ship to teach at the Tokyo Imperial University. His trained eye recognized the shape of a midden, or shell mound (a/k/a stone age garbage heap), which he subsequently confirmed when he returned to the site by horseback with some of his students. Morse’s characterization of the markings on pottery sherds he uncovered as “cord-marked”, led to the Japanese name for the historical period: Jomon (literally “rope mark”).

The park contains displays of the former coastline and the lifestyle of the people of the period. Toward the back of the park on the right hand side, under a white shell-shaped roof, is a dug out pit where you can see the ancient shell refuse. As you stand at the back of the park, overlooking the train tracks and endless buildings with no shoreline in sight, it’s difficult to imagine that this spot was once the seashore.

1  Thank Banda-in-Japan
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Thank daisuke0
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Reviewed 25 May 2017
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Reviewed 24 May 2017
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Reviewed 12 May 2017
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