Piece of earthenware from eastern Japan found in Chatan

Chatan City Board of Education announced Tuesday that a piece of earthenware found in Hanzanbaru B excavation site in Chatan possibly comes from an earthenware of Ohhorakei of the eastern Japan dating back to the end of Jomon Era about 2,500 years ago.

According to archaeologists, this is the first time that earthenware from eastern Japan has been discovered on Okinawa.

The Ohhorakei style earthenware from the end of Jomon Era has been discovered distributed around eastern Japan, and is known for its variety of patterns.

The piece discovered in Chatan is trapezoid shape, and about 4.5 × 5 centimeter in size. It seems to be a part of the base of a shallow pot. There are complex patterns on the surface, and stains of vermillion color paint that is one of the main features of Ohhorakei earthenware.

The piece was discovered during the excavation in 2009 to 2010 in the northern part of Camp Kuwae (Lester) after its return to Japan. While processing the findings from the site, the piece stood so much out from the rest of the findings that the archaeologists asked a specialist to identify it. The specialist then concluded that it actually is a piece of earthenware from eastern Japan.

The Chatan Board of Education explains that the stratum from which the piece was found is of so-called Gusuku Era (11th to 15th century), however it was mixed with other soil and sand for cultivation. They added, “We would like to proceed the investigation to know its origin and what kind of exchange Okinawa had with eastern Japan at that time.”

 
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