Deep coil-built bowls date to the earliest Jomon phases. During the Middle Jomon phase a number of elaborate types developed in various parts of Japan, notably these flame-style pots. In some examples the 'flames' are pierced and as high as the body of the pot itself, but in this fine and well preserved bowl the rim decoration is more restrained. It was formed by cutting and incising slabs of clay to form deep spirals and swirls. Bowls of this kind are likely to have had a ritual use; the presence of carbonised deposits in some examples suggests that this may have included their functioning as cooking pots. Human bones have also been found interred in them, evidence of secondary burial practices.
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