Anthropological Science (Japanese Series)
Online ISSN : 1348-8813
Print ISSN : 1344-3992
ISSN-L : 1344-3992
Current issue
Displaying 1-7 of 7 articles from this issue
Original Article
  • Yoshiro Ishihara, Momoka Ito, Naomi Doi, Chiaki Katagiri, Kazuhisa Yos ...
    Article type: Original Article
    2022 Volume 130 Issue 1 Pages 1-19
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 24, 2022
    Advance online publication: May 28, 2022
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    The Shiraho-Saonetabaru Cave Site is located at ca. 800 m inland from the Shiraho Coast, southeast of Ishigaki Island, Ishigaki City, Okinawa Prefecture. The silty to clayey cave sediments in this cave site contain at least 19 individuals of human bones of the Late Palaeolithic Period. Distributions of these human bones suggest that the Late Palaeolithic people may have used the cave as a gravesite. Meanwhile, the concentrations of human bones, animal bones, stones, charcoal particles, and marine molluscan shells vary depending on the stratum and location, suggesting that the placement and the sedimentary process is not simple. In this study, we statistically evaluate the distribution of human bones, animal bones, stones, charcoal particles, and marine molluscan shells based on their three-dimensional positional coordinates measured during excavation. In addition, we examined the iron and manganese oxides staining on the surface of human bones and the distribution of each identified individual part of human bone. Iron and manganese oxides staining is likely to have been formed near the surface of the cave floor. The fact that the distribution of iron and manganese stains on human bones varies depending on human bones clusters suggests that the placement, movement, and burial processes of human bones differed in each cluster. These distributions of the human bone cluster and staining states were consistent with the distribution of the identified individuals. It is suggested that examining these staining conditions in association with the distribution of human bones at cave sites will enable us to reconstruct the taphonomic process and evaluate the possibility of relocating human remains.

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Reviews
  • Hiroyuki Yamada, Masato Nakatsukasa, Yutaka Kunimatsu, Yuzuru Hamada, ...
    Article type: Review
    2022 Volume 130 Issue 1 Pages 21-54
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 24, 2022
    Advance online publication: March 08, 2022
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    The size and morphology of male maxillary canines were compared among living/fossil apes, fossil hominins, and modern humans in the course of evolution. Results were summarized as follows: (1): The crown size of the upper canine had already reduced in the late Miocene hominins, such as Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Orrorin tugenensis. Then, size reduction continued successively until the emergence of H. sapiens. (2): In occlusal view, a crown outline was mainly oval with the major axis lying in mesiodistal direction among extant and fossil apes. In Australopithecus afarensis and later hominins, labiolingually elongated oval crown shape became common. (3): In lingual view, the crown outline in extant and fossil apes was a tall and distorted triangle with a wide base. Exceptionally, the outline showed a distorted tetragon in Ouranopithecus. In hominins, the outline showed pentagonal or diamond shape in common. (4): The mesial and distal crown shoulders were located close to the cervical ridge in extant and fossil apes. In hominins, the shoulders moved to a higher position towards the apex. (5): A mesial incisal groove was well-defined and long yet deep groove, running from the cusp apex towards the crown base in extant and fossil apes. On the other hand, the incisal groove became short, and was continuous with the marginal groove in Ardipithecus and Australopithecus. In H. erectus and later hominins, there was no incisal groove, and only the mesial marginal groove was observed. (6): The marginal ridge was short in extant and fossil apes, being located at the basal crown. This ridge extended from the cervical region to the apex in Ouranopithecus. In Ar. ramidus and later hominins, the marginal ridge extended even longer towards the apex. (7): A mesiolingual ridge was thick and rounded, running from the apex to the cervical region along mesial incisal groove in extant and fossil apes. In hominins, this ridge ran vertically through the center of the crown. (8): The width of the cervical ridge was narrow in extant and fossil apes. In hominins, the width becomes wider relative to the crown height, and the basal tubercle also developed.

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  • Focusing on East Asia
    Rikai Sawafuji, Takumi Tsutaya, Hajime Ishida
    Article type: Review
    2022 Volume 130 Issue 1 Pages 55-74
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 24, 2022
    Advance online publication: April 22, 2022
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    East Asia is an essential region for understanding the evolution and extinction of hominins. Several members of the genus Homo lived there including H. erectus, H. floresiensis, and H. luzonensis. There were Denisovans who were identified by ancient DNA analysis of a finger bone from Denisova Cave, late archaic Homo with various morphologies in the Middle and Late Pleistocene in China. A fossilized archaic Homo mandible called Penghu 1 was also found from Penghu submarine channel near Taiwan. H. sapiens, on the other hand, first spread from Africa to other regions around 210000–60000 years ago, then after 60000 years ago, reaching East Asia. Did the diverse genus Homo and H. sapiens coexist in eastern Asia? In this review, we focus on where and when the various genera of Homo lived in eastern Asia and review the latest findings, especially for sites where hominin fossils have been excavated. In addition to the fossil record, we also outline the genetic information of Denisovans, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens, the timing of their spread, and summarize the currently available information. Finally, we discuss new methods such as ancient proteomics, ancient DNA in soil, and morphological analysis using non–adult bones for phylogenetic inference and taxon identification in the genus Homo.

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Letters to the Editor
  • Hisao Baba, Makiko Kouchi
    Article type: Letters to the Editor
    2022 Volume 130 Issue 1 Pages 75-83
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 24, 2022
    Advance online publication: April 29, 2022
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  • Takumi Tsutaya, Hiroshi Ichiishi, Masato Nakatsukasa, Akiko Matsumoto- ...
    Article type: Letters to the Editor
    2022 Volume 130 Issue 1 Pages 85-96
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 24, 2022
    Advance online publication: April 26, 2022
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    The situation surrounding academic societies and research in Japan is getting more severe recently. We conducted a web-based survey for the members of the Anthropological Society of Nippon during August and September 2021 to obtain basic data for appropriately dealing with such a situation. Twenty-three percent of the members (n = 123) responded to a questionnaire on (1) the situation of research and educational activities by their position, (2) awareness of and application for the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) subdivision “Physical Anthropology,” (3) involvement of the review of KAKENHI, and (4) ways to bottom-up physical anthropology. The results suggest that tenured faculties lack sufficient time to engage in research and educational activities, that non-tenured members (e.g. postdocs, tenure-track, and adjunct lecturers) tend to have difficulties in access to facilities and fields and obtaining the understanding of their organizations for their research, and that students have difficulty in maintaining their motivation for research. Although 75% of the respondents answered that the existence of “Physical Anthropology” as a subcategory of KAKENHI is preferable, 34% of the respondents had applied to the subcategory as a principal investigator within the past five years. Although respondents were sincere and cooperative to the review of KAKENHI, more than half of them (53%) thought that the review system needs to be improved. The largest percentage of respondents (46%) chose collaboration with related societies and support for young researchers as the desirable ways to support the discipline of physical anthropology in Japan.

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Japanese Summaries of Papers Published in Anthropological Science (English Series)
Presentation Summaries of ASN Young Scientist Oral Presentation Award
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