Mainichi Daily News
October 24, 2000

Ancient dwellings found in Miyagi

TAGAJO, Miyagi - The remains of 600,000 year old human dwellings - believed to be the oldest of their kind ever found in the nation and one of the oldest in the world, have been found in Miyagi Prefecture, archaeologists said Monday.

The ruins of the residences, if it is confirmed, predates the nation's oldest known residential remains found in February this year in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, by some 100,000 years, archaeologists announced.

The remains in question were excavated in Kamitakamori, Miyagi Prefecture, by a joint team of Tohoku Fukushi University experts and a local archaeological institute in Tagajo.

The experts said that two sets of pits were found, one of which is 80 centimeters in diameter.

Both of them are surrounded by several small holes that appeared to have held pillars, most of them 15 to 20 centimeters in diameter.

Seven stone tools were also found in one of the pits, the experts said.

They speculated that the structures might have been used as a shelter, or for hunting and ceremonial activities.

They also said that people 600,000 years ago might have hung weeds and furs on those pillars surrounding the pits.

(Compiled from Mainichi and wire reports)