Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus
The Ryukyu Islands have their own unique history and culture, and Group B03 hopes to clarify the history of human population formation in the Ryukyu Islands from the Pleistocene to the present by combining the findings of cutting-edge research in archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics.
Team Members and Research Themes
- Masatoshi MATSUNAMI (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus): Genomic study
- Masami TAKENAKA (Professor, Life Science Course, Kagoshima Women's College): Archaeological research and morphological study on skeletons
- Shinji YAMASAKI (Curator, Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum/ Visiting Researcher, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus): Archaeological research
Outline of Research
This project aims to comprehensively elucidate the formation history of human populations and cultures in the Ryukyu Archipelago by making full use of scientific analyses, including genome analysis. For this purpose, we will collaborate with other research groups to: 1) excavate new prehistoric archaeological sites in and around the Ryukyu Islands; 2) analyze archaeological artifacts by isotope analysis and X-ray analysis; 3) detect and identify plant and animal species by DNA analysis in addition to the conventional detection of plant and animal remains; 4) spatiotemporally compare the geometric morphology of ancient human bones using CT images; 5) perform population genetics analysis of modern and ancient human genome data from the islands of the Ryukyu Archipelago, and 6) analyze relationships between groups using language data. By integrating and discussing the results of the above analyses, we hope to establish a new view of the population history of the Ryukyu Islands while contributing to the construction of an integrative bioarchaeology.