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Surviving in the Archipelago

Surviving in the Archipelago

Island Hunter-Gatherer Subsistence

(p.82) Chapter 5 Surviving in the Archipelago
Ancient Ryukyu
Richard Pearson
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines hunter-gatherer subsistence patterns throughout the Ryukyus, based on brief descriptions of sites from each subperiod and summaries of analyses of faunal and floral remains, site locations, archaeological features, and diet. Takamiya Hiroto emphasizes that it is difficult for hunter-gatherers to survive on small islands since they require substantial territories from which to secure enough food in the absence of cultivated plants; otherwise they cannot sustain a viable population. There is some evidence suggesting that, on Okinawa, a certain cultivation—a combination of reef fishes and shellfish and edible chestnuts—may have been adopted substantially earlier than AD 800 to 1000.

Keywords:   hunter-gatherer, Ryukyus, floral remains, faunal, archaeological features, Takamiya Hiroto, Okinawa

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