Baikal Archaeology Project

Archaeological Fieldwork on Rebun Island, Japan 2011

General Information

  • Application Deadline: May 13, 2011
  • Dates:
    • Term 1: July 1 to 31, 2011 (Western Students)
    • Term 2: August 1 to 31, 2011 (Japanese Students)
  • Directors:
    • Dr. Hirofumi Kato (Hokkaido University)
    • Dr. Dustin White (University of Oxford)
    • Dr. Andrzej Weber (University of Alberta)
  • Sites:
    • Funadomari, Rebun Island, Japan; Late Jomon cemetery and workshops
    • Hamanaka, Rebun Island, Japan; multicomponent (from Middle Jomon to historic times) shell midden with burials of various age
  • Meeting Date: June 30, 2011
  • Meeting Place: Wakkanai Airport, Hokkaido
  • Estimated Essential Costs for Participants:
    • Airfare to Japan: $2000
    • Field transportation: $500
    • All accommodations and food: paid for by project

Rebun Island as seen from Rishiri Mountain on Rishiri Island.

Beginning in 2011, the University of Alberta (Canada) has launched a joint venture with Hokkaido University (Japan) and several other international partners called the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project. Fieldwork for this project focuses upon the archaeological sites on Rebun Island, Japan.

Rebun Island, Google Earth Image

Before joining with Hokkaido University, the Baikal Archaeology project completed fieldwork, including several field schools, at several cemeteries and habitation sites along the coasts of Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia. With this new collaboration, our 2011 fieldwork will include extensive excavations of the Late Jomon cemetery Funadomari and testing of Hamanaka, a multi-component shell midden site with graves ranging in age from the Jomon to the historical Ainu periods. Both sites are located along the north coast of Rebun Island.

Funadomari Archaeological Site, Google Earth ImageWhile there will be no formal field school offered in 2011, we would like to extend an invitation to interested volunteers to assist in our excavations on Rebun Island. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the skills associated with the archaeological excavation of cemeteries including topographic survey, drawing, photography, ground penetrating radar, as well as the identification, removal and curation of human osteological material. In addition, students will experience the beautiful Japanese culture while living in the small fishing town of Funadomari. Though we are not offering course credit this year, we hope to organize formal field schools in future years.

Join us this summer and experience archaeology off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan.

Where is Rebun Island?

Map showing Rebun Island northwest of Hokkaido

Rebun Island is off the northwestern coast of Hokkaido, Japan in the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. The island is well-known for over 300 species of alpine flowers and its hiking trails. The sites on Rebun date from the Ainu and Jomon periods. The site Funadomari is located in the town of the same name along the northern coast of Rebun Island. Hamanaka is located within two kilometres west of Funadomari.

View of Rishiri Island from Wakkanai-Rebun Ferry

View of Rishiri Island from Wakkanai-Rebun Ferry


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