Assistant Professor Maeda’s Research Report: August 2015

Assistant Professor Osamu Maeda is dispatched to Institute of Archaeology at University College London (UCL) from November 2014.  We will introduce his research progress at UCL as of August 2015.

 Tracing the developmental process of primitive agricultural society in history of human is essential research task for understanding how modern civilized society was structured.  West Asia is known to be the place where human’s first left hunting and gathering life which had been led for millions of years and started out agriculture and pastoral farming.  That is the reason why tracing the prehistoric ages of West Asia through archaeology is not just placed in the frame of regional history research but directly linked to research of human society from global point of view.

 In order to undertake this task I started my research at Institute of Archaeology in University College London (UCL) since November 2014.  This Research Institute consists of around 100 archeology professors and hundreds of students and it is the world’s leading archeology research base.  Here, the research environment is great and I am making the full use of it.  Since materials and information are accumulated all the time and a joint-research with researchers from other special field of study is possible to realize. There are two different jobs for investigating the prehistoric agricultural society.  One is to restore the present situations of the plant cultivations based on the analysist of carbonized plant relict bodies that came out of remains.  The other is to restore human activities in food production society from material culture. We have to promote both works at the same time.  Thus right after I flew to United States I launched joint-research with Professor Dorian Fuller, a specialist of Plant Archaeology.  We started out this joint-research project with four members; Professor Fuller and another person who takes part in analyzing plant relict bodies, a special statistical analysist and I who take part in analyzing archaeological ruins (mostly stone implements).

  The road map of the research plan is to 1) Collecting base data 2) Statistical analyze and examine 3) Present the first achievement result 4) Expand research theme and write follow up essays.  We have already collected and analyzed the data of three hundred targeted ruins.  By analyzing large quantity of data from a wide range of ages and regions had made us able to find out that development of agricultural society was influenced by cultural factors rather than economic factors, as well as those factors are plural.  Now we are proceeding the step 3 and preparing the first achievement result.  To move on to further steps, we are now preparing for making future plans to develop research achievements at UCL, and on the other hand we are planning to do joint-research with Professor Roger Matthews at University of Reading and Professor Stuart Campbell at The University of Manchester.

  I the research with Professor Matthews, we have already started material research on Kurdistan region in Iraq and have been preparing for the base of the research.  Professor Campbell was my mentor at the doctoral program when I was studying oversea, and I have had chances to do joint- research with him several times since then.  We made material trading as the theme to approach primitive agricultural society.  In order to approach the primitive agricultural society with the theme of material trading, we are planning to make further research.

  Having three bases at University of Reading, The University of Manchester and UCL in England and advancing research at each bases, we would like to deepen cooperation and between researchers there and University of Tsukuba.