Omori shellmound

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Stone marker at the site of the Ômori shellmound

The Ômori shellmound, located in Tokyo and excavated by Edward Sylvester Morse in 1877, represented a significant contribution to the emergence and early development of the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology in Japan, and was among the first studies of prehistoric Japanese culture.

Morse noticed the mound as he rode the train from Yokohama to Shinbashi in June 1877, and returned to the site shortly afterwards to excavate it. Pottery shards, stone tools, human and other bones, and shells found in the mound revealed much about prehistoric Japan. Morse's findings, published in 1879, were among the first modern scholarly work on prehistoric Japan to be published in either English or Japanese.

Today, a small monument located on the platform at Ômori Station marks the site as the "site of the origin of Japanese archaeology" (Nihon kôkogaku hasshô no chi).


  • Plaques on-site.

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