Globalising British Archaeology Through a Japanese Lens

British and Japanese archaeology have had close connections since the late 19th century, when pioneering Japanese archaeologists such as Tsuboi Shogoro and Hamada Kosaku studied in London, and William Gowland and Neil Gordon Munro were among the first westerners to investigate archaeological sites in Japan. We regularly welcome students and specialists in Japanese archaeology from around the world to the Institute, and organise tours of British and European archaeology for Japanese visitors, and tours of Japanese archaeology for interested non-Japanese.

In 2016 we instigated the world’s first twinning of archaeological sites – between the Grimes Graves Neolithic flint mines in Thetford in the east of England, and the Hoshikuso prehistoric obsidian mines in Nagawa-machi, in central Honshu. We will be developing further collaborations between Japanese and European archaeology in the future, and are investigating how the international significance of archaeological sites in both Britain and Japan can be enhanced and better understood.

Image: Gowland standing in the main burial chamber of one of Tsukahara Kofun group
mound. © Trustees of the British Museum