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Ancient Chinese bronze arrowhead unearthed in Japan

A team of Japanese archaeologists has found a bronze arrowhead dating back to the Warring States period of ancient Chinese history (475 B.C. to 221 B.C.) in Okayama City, western Japan, local press reported on Thursday. The object is believed to be the first of its kind discovered in Japan, according to reports.

Ancient Chinese bronze arrowhead unearthed in Japan

The Chinese arrowhead called "double-winged bronze arrowhead" was unearthed by the team at the Minamigata ruins located in the city center of Okayama, said the country's public broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK).

The report said the team has uncovered an area of about 2,500 square meters in the ruins since April 2012 and recently found the artifact within the ditch together with other pottery fragments and pieces of stoneware, which date back to the Middle Yayoi period (about 300 B.C. to 100 B.C.), adding that the bizarre arrowhead is 3.7 cm long, 1.4 cm wide and about 2 mm thick.

This is the first time a bronze arrowhead of this type made in ancient China has been unearthed from ruins in Japan.

Minoru Norioka, Director for the city's properties division, said to Xinhua that since they could identify the double-winged shape of the arrowhead as the unique manufacturing style from the era of ancient China, they understood the object was imported by an influential group with care from the continent to western Japan.

"Considering that there is a considerable time gap between its original production in China and the actual usage in Japan, the thin bronze arrowhead must have been used as a ritual item or burial good rather than a weapon," the director said.

The city will continue its field investigations to find more facts describing the old relationship and communication between Japan and China. 

Source: Xinhua News [January 24, 2013]

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