Jomon Pottery

Thursday, June 30th, 02022 at 14:41 UTC

Back in 02012, we were in London and had some extra time. We wandered into the British Museum only to be taken directly into a temporary exhibition of Jomon Pottery. Jomon are the earliest known pots, dating back over 12,000 years, and found exclusively in what is now Japan.

There were two ancient Jomon pots on display. They were anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. One was a Flame pot. It looked exciting and could easily be mistaken for something much more modern.

That Flame Pot has followed us around and keeps re-appearing in random places.

As part of the BBC’s History of the world in 100 Objects, the 10th object was a Jomon Pot from 7,000 years ago. (If you haven’t listened to the full show, we highly recommend: History of the world in 100 Objects)

A friend came back from Japan and this was the newspaper used to wrap gifts. It has pictures of Jomon Pottery.

Jomon Pot Variety

There is no one canonical Flame Pot design. The shear variety of types creates a beautiful collage. You can tell they are all Flame Pots, but each is unique and distinct.

Creating our own

Jomon Flame Pot

It is highly unlikely any cultural heritage item like an original pot would ever be sold, or if it were, within our price-range. If we wanted to own a pot, that leaves us with the daunting task of gathering as many photos as we could and then try to recreate one ourselves out of clay. While not impossible, it’s incredibly time consuming and our pottery skills are no where near as good!

Fast-forward 10 years since we first saw that pot. Now 3D scanning can be done on mobile phones and desktop computers can take the hundreds of images and create a 3D model! There are also plenty of sites that host and sell 3D models. Maybe someone else has already done the hard work?

As it turns out SketchFab and Shapeways have a bunch of Jomon Pottery models.

That lead us to which has a high-res flame pot STL file for download. Now, our next step is to print, paint, and display it.

See Also

Here are a few additional links to learn more about Jomon Pottery