3000-year-old pottery found in Okinawa

A fragment of pottery, with Kamegoaka style characteristics, common in north-eastern Japan 3000 years ago was found in Chatan, central part of Okinawa Island.

Kamageoka pottery style shard (by Go Katono)

The shard was excavated between 2009 and 2010 from a layer dating back to the end of the Jomon Pottery Culture, found at the Hanzanbaru B site, where a U.S. military base was once located. Only recently the experts concluded the results of its analysis. A jade piece dating back to the same time period was also discovered at the Ireibaru archeological site near the Hanzanbaru B site. According to archaeologists the find shows that exchanges between the southern and main Japanese islands were more extensive than previously thought and that people were actively interacting and trading between Japan’s main island and Okinawa from the end of the Jomon (14000-300 BC) to the early part of the Yayoi period (300 BC250 AD). The piece of pottery is almost certainly a variation of Kamegaoka pottery, making it the first such piece discovered in Okinawa Prefecture. Kamegaoka pottery has distinctive patterns and was mainly distributed in and around what is now the Tohoku region at the end of the Jomon Pottery Culture (c. 8000-300 BC). Many Kamegaoka pottery pieces have been excavated in eastern Japan, but few have been found in western parts of the country.

(after Asahi Shimbun & Go Katono)

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