National Treasure "Dogu" part 1: "Jomon no Venus" (the Venus of Jomon)

The "Dogu" ("Jomon no Venus") [Clay Figurine (the Venus of Jomon)] of the Tanabatake site

Photo: National Treasure "Dogu" ("Jomon no Venus")

  • Excavated on Sep. 8, 1986
  • Designated as a national treasure of Japan on Jun. 15, 1995


This is a large-sized dogu (clay figurine) that measures 27cm height and 2.14kg, and this was unearthed from the Tanabatake site in Yonezawa district, Chino. The “Jomon no Venus” is possibly dated back to the middle period of the Jomon period, approximately B.C.3000 (5000yrBP) because of the carved patterns on the head. Apparently, we can clearly recognize the pregnancy on its big belly and the characteristics of a woman on rounded shape overall.
This dogu was found laid in a pit that was dug at the center of the site, and the pit is considered to have been a burial pit. Up to date, there are 20 thousand dogus unearthed in Japan, most of them were found broken. We can consider that this dogu had been treated politely in order to avoid breakage, because SHE doesn’t have not so much broken part oppositely to other dogu. On June 15 of 1995 (9 years later after excavation), the “Jomon no Venus” was designated as a National Treasure and it was the first designation of the artifacts excavated from the sites of the Jomon period.

the excavation of the Jomon Venus The place where the dogu (Jomon no Venus) was unearthed.
The "Jomon no Venus" was found in the pit located at the center of the site.


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