NAKAO Hisashi[Affiliation June 2022-March 2023]

Starting year 2022

Nanzan University
Department of Anthropology and Philosophy
Associate Professor

Research Areas:Humanities & Social Sciences

Research fields

Evolutionary science

Research Interests

Human evolution
cultural evolution

Professional Memberships

Human Behavior & Evolution Society of Japan
The Japanese Archaeological Association

Main research topics

I am interested in human and cultural evolution. Recently, I have focused on the following topics.
(1) Evolution of warfare: I explore the origin and evolutionary process of warfare by using prehistoric archaeological and anthropological data. For instance, Nakao et al. (2016) showed that we did not find any solid evidence of warfare in the Jomon period of the Japanese archipelago, when people engaged mainly with hunting and gathering. Traditionally, many have claimed that warfare began in the following period, i.e., the Yayoi period, when people engaged mainly with agriculture because we need broader areas for agriculture, and it caused warfare. Nakagawa et al. (2022) quantitatively tested and confirmed this traditional claim by using burial data as proxy for population and the number of injured individuals as proxy for frequency of conflicts. Now I am gathering and analyzing other relevant data.
(2) 3D measurements and mathematical analyses of archaeological artefacts and human skeletal remains: We have used laser scanners and SfM-MVS (Structure from Motion-Multi View Stereo) to measure and reconstruct many kinds of archaeological artefacts and human skeletal remains. In the past few years, we have gathered 3D data of pottery in the early Yayoi period (i.e., the Ongagawa style pottery from Kagoshima prefecture to Aichi prefecture) and analyzed the data mathematically. Last and this year, we have focused on the 3D measurement of human skeletal remains from the Jomon to Kofun periods. Mathematically, we are using geometric morphometrics including landmark methods, Elliptic Fourier Analysis, and spherical harmonics.

Representative papers

Nakagawa, T., Tamura, K., Yamaguchi, Y., Matsumoto, N., Matsugi, T., and Nakao, H. 2021. Population pressure and prehistoric violence in the Yayoi period of Japan. Journal of Archaeological Science, 132: 105420.

Nakao, H., Tamura, K., Arimatsu, Y., Nakagawa, T., Matsumoto, N., and Matsugi, T. 2016. Violence in the prehistoric period of Japan: the spatiotemporal pattern of skeletal evidence for violence in the Jomon period. Biology Letters, 12: 20160028.

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