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3,000-year-old house relic sheds light to early Oki life

Date Posted: 2004-02-12

Relics of a house dating back to Jomon period some 3,000 years ago have been unearthed in Oyama, Ginowan City. Researchers consider the find important, as it sheds light to customs and life of people on ancient Okinawa.

According to Okinawa Prefecture Archaeological Foundation, the remains consists of a well and a kitchen, proof that people living in Okinawa already used fire some 3,000 years ago.

North of the latest find there is an area called Oyama Kaizuka, an ancient burial site that has been designated as an important cultural asset. It has yielded several archaeological artifacts that have given researchers important clues of the way of life and the people of that era. The finds from Oyama Kaizuka have been dated back to 3,000 to 3,500 years and more.

“The find of this house is important in that it is the first time that we can study how the people of that era actually lived their daily lives,” Hiroshi Higa of Okinawa Prefecture Board of Education said. He added that it is known that people have lived on Okinawa at least 4,500 years ago, but very little is known of their lifestyles.

Excavation at the site has been going on for more than a year and the site has so far yielded pieces of earthenware, stone axes and animal bones. One of the more mysterious finds so far has been a stack of stones that researchers speculate had been used as roof tiles.

“We have found similar artifacts at several locations around Okinawa that all date back to the same period. It is safe to assume that people lived in several villages around the island during that period,” Higa said.

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