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Anthropological Science
Vol. 116 (2008) No. 1 P 87-92

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http://doi.org/10.1537/ase.060317

Brief Communication

It is proposed that the so-called ‘protruding buttock’ figurines from Middle Jomon central Japan may be representations of steatopygia. The distribution of these figurines is associated with archaeological evidence for high population densities and possible intensive use of wild yams (Dioscorea japonica). Given the low fat content of these yams, it is suggested that nutritional stress in the diet of Middle Jomon hunter-gatherers of the Chubu highlands may be consistent with the fat accumulation on the buttocks apparently represented in the ‘protruding buttock’ figurines.

Copyright © 2008 The Anthropological Society of Nippon

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