Journal of the Anthropological Society of Nippon
Online ISSN : 1884-765X
Print ISSN : 0003-5505
ISSN-L : 0003-5505
A Prehistoric Human Ilium Penetrated by an Arrow Head
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1958 Volume 66 Issue 3 Pages 112-115


Mechanical injuries of the prehistoric people in Japan are less known than those in Europe or in America(1)(2)(3). The same is true of the arrow wounds. Only two specimens were reported until today. The late Dr. KIYON0(4) recognized an arrow wound in human vertebra from Tsubuye Shellmound and the present author(5) found a human ulna penetrated by an arrow point from Ikawazu Shellmound.
The author, in collaboration with the Japanese Association of Archaeologists and Department of Anthropology of Tokyo University, made excavations at Sanganji Shellmound near Sendai in spring of the year 1952. More than fifty skeletons were taken from the site. Of these finds, Skeleton No. 22 of an adult male (Fig. 1) was struck by an arrow point made of shale. The right iliac bone was penetrated just behind the anterior iliac spine by an arrowhead coming from an upper and posterior direction (Fig. 2), The base of the arrow head was broken just on the outer surface of the bone, but the tip pierced about 7mm from the interior surface of the bone into the coxal cavity (Fig. 2 and. 3). The wound was obviously not fatal and the presence of the local change on both of the outer and the inner surface (Fig. 3 and 4)of the bone suggests that the wound of the victim had entirely healed. His death must, therefore, have been caused by some illness or incidents after his wound had healed.

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