Japan’s oldest human skeleton found in Okinawan cave

Date:

Share post:

A partial human skeleton, thought to be the country’s oldest dating from around 27,000 years ago, has been found in a collapsed cave in Okinawa, southern Japan, a local museum said Friday.

Japan’s oldest human skeleton found in Okinawan cave
A human skeleton believed to be about 27,000 years old is displayed at a cultural facility 
in the town of Nishihara in Okinawa on Friday [Credit: KYODO]

The almost complete skeleton, dating from the Old Stone Age, appears to have been intentionally placed in the cave, providing evidence for the first time of a funerary rite during that period, according to the Okinawa Prefecture Archaeological Center.

Previously, the oldest human bones discovered in Japan, dating from around 22,000 years ago, were found in the southern part of Okinawa’s main island.

Japan’s oldest human skeleton found in Okinawan cave
The partial skeleton found in Shirahosaonetabaru cave on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture
 [Credit: Okinawa Prefecture Archaeological Center]

The partial skeleton was discovered at Shirahosaonetabaru cave on Ishigaki Island, southwest of the Okinawa capital Naha, during research at the site lasting from 2010 to 2016.

“This is an important discovery which could mark a new chapter in the human history of Japan,” Kamenobu Kinjo, head of the center, said at a press conference.

The center said it appears bodies were not buried at the time as the partial skeleton was found on the ground face up.

More than 1,000 human fragments from at least 19 individuals have been unearthed at the site.

Source: The Mainichi [May 20, 2017]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Search for Secotan village goes on

An ancient, nearly forgotten facet of Beaufort County’s past made news this year as an effort to find...

Chickens and turkeys ‘closer to dinosaur ancestors’ than other birds

New research from the University of Kent suggests that chickens and turkeys have experienced fewer gross genomic changes...

Egyptian inscription linked to eruption of Thera

An inscription on a 3,500-year-old stone block from Egypt may be one of the world's oldest weather reports...

Artifacts from 12th century tower on display

Over 58 tons of artefacts were unearthed from Champa Mam Tower in the central province of Binh Dinh...

Fossils may reveal 20-million-year history of penguins in Australia

Multiple dispersals of penguins reached Australia after the continent split from Antarctica, including 'giant penguins' that may have...

35 years on, Voyager’s legacy continues at Saturn

Saturn, with its alluring rings and numerous moons, has long fascinated stargazers and scientists. After an initial flyby...

Roman pond found at Barnham archaeological site

An ancient pond and Roman artefacts have been discovered in a West Sussex village by archaeologists. The pond, ditches...

Ancient fossils reveal diversity in the body structure of human ancestors

Recently released research on human evolution has revealed that species of early human ancestors had significant differences in...