Oldest (?) Pavement from Jomon site
10,000 semi-finished stone axes
Oku-Miomote Sites
orig: 98/11/08
In a mountainous valley, now sparsely populated, a score of archeological sites have been excavated since 1988 (or earlier?). The government is making a water dam at the exit of the valley in Asahi village in Niigata prefecture. From grounds where will become bottom of the reservoir, 19 archeological sites have been excavated. The 19 cover from 30,000 years ago to early 4th century A.D.

From one of them, Moto-Yashiki site, that was populated during 6,000 years ago and 3,000 years ago (plus in the first century BC), gravel paved road had been discovered. On the both shoulders of the road which is 40 meters long and 2 to 2.5m wide and slightly curved, round and flat stones were placed. The pavement was made of gravels from a riverside, about 5 cm in size, for about 50 cm deep. For a picture, you may wish to visit Okumiomote Vitual Museum (in Japanese)

The river that separates residential area from tomb area is believed to have been artificially created to change the flow. The 3 to 5 meter wide river is about 40 meter long. On the banks are stones accumulated to protect the banks.

Another surprising article found was over 10,000 pieces of unfinished ground stone axe. The stone materials belong to the river. Researchers believe that the place which also had grinding stones and hammers, was a factory of axes.

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