The Jōmon period is the time in Japanese prehistory from about 12,000 BC to 400 BC. Most scholars agree that by around 40,000 BC glaciation had connected the Japanese islands with the Asian mainland. Based on archaeological evidence, between 35,000 BC and 30,000 BC Homo sapiens had migrated to the islands from eastern and southeastern Asia and had well-established patterns of hunting and gathering and stone toolmaking. Stone tools, inhabitation sites, and human fossils from this period have been found throughout all the islands of Japan. Additionally, a 1988 genetic study points to an East Asian base for the Japanese people. The term "Jōmon" means "cord-patterned" in Japanese. This refers to the markings made on clay vessels and figures using sticks with cords wrapped around them as well as to the pottery techniques of the Jomon-jin More stable living patterns gave rise by around 14,000 BC to a Mesolithic or, as some scholars argue, Neolithic culture, but with some characteristics of both. Possibly distant ancestors of the Ainu aboriginal people of modern Japan, members of the heterogeneous Jōmon culture (c. 14,000-300 BC) left the clearest archaeological record. The culture was roughly contemporaneous with civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Nile, and the Indus Valley. According to archaeological evidence, the Jōmon people may have created the first known pottery vessels in the world, dated to the 14th millennium BC , as well as the earliest ground stone tools. The antiquity of this pottery was first identified after the Second World War, through radiocarbon dating methods. However, some Japanese scholars also believe that pottery production technology was first invented on the mainland because of sites in what is now China and Russia that have produced pottery "which may be as old, if not older, than Fukui Cave pottery". Historian and author Junko Habu claims that "The majority of Japanese scholars believed, and still believe, that pottery production was first invented in mainland Asia and subsequently introduced into the Japanese archipelago." and explains that "A series of excavations in the Amur River Basin in the 1980s and 1990s revealed that pottery in this region may be as old as, if not older than, Fukui Cave pottery" The Jomon era pottery was called Jomon doki. Jomon means patterns of rope, and most earthware resembled designs made by rope. First they wet the soil and made a rope out of it (wring it into a rope). Then they gave it the desired shape with their hands. Mostly they ate or stored their food in the pots they made.The Jōmon people were also making clay figures and vessels decorated with patterns of a growing sophistication made by impressing the wet clay with braided or unbraided cord and sticks. Neolithic traits The manufacturing of pottery typically implies some form of sedentary life due to the fact that pottery is highly breakable and thus generally useless to hunter-gatherers who are constantly on the move. Therefore, the Jōmon people were probably some of the earliest sedentary or at least semi-sedentary people in the world. They used chipped stone tools, ground stone tools, traps, and bows, and were probably semi-sedentary hunters-gatherers and skillful coastal and deep-water fishermen. They practiced a rudimentary form of agriculture and lived in caves and later in groups of either shallow pit dwellings or above-ground houses, leaving rich middens for modern archaeological study. Because of this, the earliest forms of farming are sometimes attributed to Japan (Ingpen & Wilkinson) in 10,000 BC, two thousand years before their widespread appearance in the Middle East. However, some archaeological evidence also suggests early experiments with agriculture in the hills and valleys of the Fertile Crescent in modern Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq around 11,000 BC. Population expansion: This semi-sedentary culture led to important population increases, so that the Jōmon exhibit some of the highest densities known for foraging populations . Genetic mapping studies by Cavalli-Sforza have shown a pattern of genetic expansion from the area of the Sea of Japan towards the rest of eastern Asia. This appears as the third most important genetic movement in Eastern Asia (after the "Great expansion" from the African continent, and a second expansion from the area of Northern Siberia), which suggests geographical expansion during the early Jōmon period.These studies also suggest that the Jōmon demographic expansion may have reached America along a path following the Pacific coast. Main periods Incipient Jōmon (14000 - 7500 BC): Linear applique, Nail impression, Cord impression, Muroya lower. Initial Jōmon (7500 - 4000 BC): Igusa, Inaridai, Mito, Lower Tado, Upper Tado, Shiboguchi, Kayama. The Early and Middle Jōmon periods saw an explosion in population, as indicated by the number of excavations from this period. These two periods correspond to the prehistoric Holocene Climatic Optimum (between 4000 and 2000 BC), when temperatures reached several degrees Celsius higher than the present, and the seas were higher by 5 to 6 metres. Beautiful artistic realizations, such as highly decorated "flamed" vessels, remain from that time. After 1500 BC, the climate cooled, and populations seem to have contracted dramatically. Comparatively few archaeological sites can be found after 1500 BC. By the end of the Jōmon period, a dramatic shift had taken place according to archaeological studies. Incipient cultivation had evolved into sophisticated rice-paddy farming and government control. Many other elements of Japanese culture also may date from this period and reflect a mingled migration from the northern Asian continent and the southern Pacific areas. Among these elements are Shinto mythology, marriage customs, architectural styles, and technological developments, such as lacquerware, textiles, laminated bows, metalworking, and glass making. Main periods: Early Jōmon (4000 - 3000 BC): Lower Hanazumi, Sekiyama, Kurohama, Moroiso (Jōmon period)|Moroiso]] A,B,C Juusanbodai. Middle Jōmon (3000 - 2000 BC): Katsusaka/Otamadai, Kasori E1, Kasori E2. Late Jōmon (2000 - 1000 BC): Shyomyouji, Horinouchi, Kasori B1, Kasori B2, Angyo 1. Final Jōmon (1000 - 400 BC): Angyo 2, Angyo 3.