Cheap, Regular, and Reliable: Implications of Design Variation in Late Pleistocene Japanese Microblade Technology



Systematically produced microblades are a hallmark of terminal Pleistocene occupation of the Japanese archipelago. Regional differences in microblade production have been interpreted as “cultural.” Building on detailed technological analyses by Japanese scholars, this chapter uses event tree analysis of assemblages from Araya, Kakuniyama, and Fukui Cave to suggest that major differences in microblade production were designed to fit with hunting strategies that reflected ecological differences between northern and southern Japan.