The ENCOUNTER team is composed of researchers at the University of Cambridge, University of York,   collaborators from Japan, and an international advisory board.

University of Cambridge Team



Principal Investigator

I am a quantitative and evolutionary archaeologist with a strong interest in Japanese prehistory. I am specialised in the application and development of computational and statistical models to understand the past, in particular, methods for inferring past population dynamics and patterns of cultural transmission using the archaeological record. I am the PI of the ENCOUNTER project, and I am coordinating its overall strategy as well as developing statistical solutions to different work packages



Project Administrator

I have a corporate and legal background working in both Japan and London and will help organise the hiring process, fieldwork,  conference/workshops logistic, as well as financial aspects of the ENCOUNTER project. 



Research Associate

PDRA2 will study spatial patterns of cultural variation during the Jomon-Yayoi transition to infer evolutionary changes in cultural interconnectivity and the presence/absence of cultural boundaries. 



Research Associate

PDRA3 will investigate the spread of rice and millet farming by collating archaeobotanical evidence and analysing the associated radiocarbon record.



PhD Student

 I am a computational archaeologist with interests in cultural evolution and Central and East Asian archaeology. I will be analysing the pollen, climatic, and soil records to reconstruct the landcover changes during the Jomon/Yayoi transition as well as model spatial variation in the suitability and productivity of rice and millet farming and its relation to demographic changes between the end of the Jomon period and the first half of the Yayoi period. I am jointly supervised by Enrico Crema & Akihiro Yoshida (U. of Kagoshima).

University of York Team



Senior Scientist

I am a science-based archaeologist with a major interest in prehistoric food, diet and cuisine. I use organic residue analysis of pottery and stable isotope analysis of human bone to investigate major dietary transitions in the past, with a particular interest in the transition from foraging to food production. I am a senior scientist on ENCOUNTER and I will lead the team in  BioArCh, York working on the identification of rice and millet on ceramics.



Research Associate

I am a chemist working in the field of archaeological science. My research interest focuses on prehistoric pottery function and culinary practice in northern Eurasia with a specific expertise involving molecular and isotopic analysis of organic residue associated with ceramic vessels. I am a post-doctoral research assistant as part of the ENCOUNTER project and I will undertake organic residue analysis on Jomon and Yayoi pottery to examine changes in food-processing technologies and subsistence practices in Japan at the economic transition from foraging (Jōmon culture) to farming (Yayoi culture).

Key Collaborators in Japan



Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

I am an archaeologist/archaeo-scientist who is working on the East Asian archaeology especially focusing on the transition of subsistence, diet, and cuisine through the long-term Neolithization process in this area. In Encounter project, my role is to explore the appropriate material to answer the questions, as well as to contextualize the analyzed data into the wider theoretical discussion.



Chuo University

My research is focused on the Jomon and Yayoi periods of the Japanese island, in particular to the formation process of Jomon culture, the increasing sedentism which characterises Eastern Japan during the Early and the Middle Jomon period and the decline in the number of archaeological sites observed in concurrence to climatic changes in the Late and Final Jomon periods. I am also interested in the comparison of the chronology of the Jomon period in relation to other regions of Eurasia. I am specialised in radiocarbon dating and isotopic analysis of organic residues from Jomon pottery, and more broadly wish to improve our understanding of pottery production as well as settlement pattern and structure.


Kagoshima University

 I am a physical geographer and palynologist with interests in vegetation history and climate change since the Last Glacial period in East Asia and Japan.  I will be modelling biomass productivity during the Jomon and the Yayoi period in Japan using pollen records, in order to provide valuable information for inferring past interactions between humans and the environment. I will also jointly supervise PhD Student at the  University of Cambridge. 

Scientific Advisory Board

Junko  Habu (University of California, Berkely)

Martin  Jones (University of Cambridge)

Simon Kaner (University of East Anglia/Sainsbury Institute for the Studies of Japanese Art and Cultures)

Marco Madella (Pompeu Fabra University)

Naoko Matsumoto (University of Okayama)

Koji  Mizoguchi (University of Kyushu)

Stephen Shennan (University College London)


©2019 by The Encounter Project. Proudly created with Project Logo Designed by Sarah Finan