Shiraho human bones confirmed to be oldest in Japan

Fragments of a human skull found in Shiraho Saone Tabaru Cave on Ishigaki Island by the Okinawa Archaeological Research Center in October, have officially confirmed to date back 26,000 years. This marks the first time a discovery of human bones in Japan from so early period has been confirmed

The bone fragments were initially dated back to a much newer period based on the geological stratum they were discovered from at the excavation site.

Professor Minoru Komeda from the University Museum at the University of Tokyo analyzed some 17 fragments of bones from the site using radioactive carbon dating, and determined they were in fact about 26,000 years old. He says that proved there were humans living on Ishigaki Island at least about 28,000 years ago.

According to Lecturer Naomi Toi from The University of the Ryukyus Medical Department, researchers are continuing to rebuild a full skull from parts taken from the same cave, and try to reconstruct a face of people who lived on the island at that time.