From some of the world’s oldest pottery to a striking industrial heritage, Japan has one of the richest archaeological records in the world. Recent years have seen enhanced engagement between Japanese and British archaeologists, in the form of research collaborations, bilateral visits, exhibitions and publications. With the recent announcement that the next World Archaeology Congress will be held in Kyoto in 2016, this interaction is set to increase exponentially over the coming years. This seminar brings together a group of British archaeologists from diverse parts of the discipline to discuss their experiences of and observations about Japanese archaeology, to explore the synergies and differences, challenges and opportunities for archaeologists in both Japan and the UK over the coming years. The seminar will follow on from a workshop led by graduate students from the University of East Anglia who visited Japan in 2012 as part of a Daiwa Award funded project investigating the long-term impact of the March 2012 Great East Japan Disaster on cultural heritage in Japan, and discussion of comparisons between the British Neolithic and the Japanese Jomon periods.
Alan Saville is Senior Curator at the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland and President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He curated an exhibition of the Japanese archaeological collection of Neil Gordon Munro at NMS in 2001 and visited Japan in the early years of the archaeology boom.
Sophie Jackson is Senior Consultant at MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology). She visited Japan in September 2012 as part of a project comparing public archaeology in Japan and the UK.
Don Henson is consultant to the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures on the development of an English-language online resource about Japanese archaeology for use in schools. Currently, he is Honorary Director of the Centre for Audio-Visual Study and Practice at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and formerly Head of Education at the Council for British Archaeology. He has also worked in Japan with archaeologists in Gunma and Osaka.
Kasia Gdaniec is Senior Archaeologist with responsibility for Development Management in the Historic Environment Team of Cambridgeshire County Council. A specialist in wetland archaeology and prehistoric pottery, Kasia visited northern Japan in January 2013.
Koji Mizoguchi (Discussant) is Professor of Archaeology at Kyushu University and newly-elected President of the World Archaeology Congress.
Simon Kaner (Moderator) is Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. His current interests include World Heritage Sites in Japan, and he recently led the first British commercial archaeological tour to Japan in November 2012.