2,000 year old clay doll dug up at Osaka ruins site

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A moon-faced clay doll from the mid-Yayoi Pottery Culture period (300 B.C.-A.D. 300) has been unearthed in near perfect condition at an archaeological site here, the first discovery of its kind in the prefecture.

2,000 year old clay doll dug up at Osaka ruins site
A handsome clay doll dating from the mid-Yayoi Pottery Culture period (300 B.C.-A.D. 300) 
was uncovered at the Kori ruin in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture 
[Credit: Takashi Yoshikawa]

The charming doll, of a kind very rarely found intact, was unearthed at the Kori ruins, the Osaka Center for Culture Heritage announced Jan. 26.

During the excavation at the Kori and Heka ruins, which started in June 2016, a team including members of the Ibaraki board of education discovered about 140 “hokei shukobo,” or rectangular burial mounds, where the doll was preserved in the soil.

2,000 year old clay doll dug up at Osaka ruins site
More than 140 ancient tombs dating back to the Yayoi Period have been found at ruins in Ibaraki, 
Osaka Pefecture [Credit: Osaka Center for Cultural Heritage/Via Kyodo]

The carefully crafted artifact, which has clear-cut eyes and nose, is 5.9 centimeters tall and 3 cm wide. It even has ear holes in its spherical head, which tops a cylindrically shaped torso with a flat base.

Three ancient “kuda dama” cylindrical beads, which appear to be made of jasper, were also found.

The largest of the burial mounds, surrounded by trenches, measures about 18 meters long and 12 meters wide–about 220 square meters. A large-scale village was believed to be located in this area.

Author: Takashi Yoshikawa | Source: The Asahi Shimbun [January 28, 2017]

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