Japan to Designate Paleolithic Artifacts as National Treasure

Society Culture

Tokyo, Nov. 18 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese government council proposed on Friday the designation as national treasure of artifacts dating back to Japan's Paleolithic period that were unearthed from Shirataki ruins in the town of Engaru, Hokkaido, in northernmost Japan.

It would be the country's oldest national treasure and the first among excavated artifacts from the old stone age period.

The Cultural Affairs Council recommended that culture minister Keiko Nagaoka designate 1,965 artifacts from the ruins collectively as national treasure.

Located at the base of the Daisetsuzan mountain group, the Shirataki ruins fall within one of the country's largest sources of obsidian, a material for stone tools.

The ruins show clearly how stone tools changed during the period. The stone tools unearthed include small flake tools of about 5 centimeters in size and an extremely large stone projectile point 36.3 centimeters in length.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press