The Japan Times
May 8, 2001

Stoneware pieces may have been 'deliberately placed'

More dirt unearthed in Adachi

FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) Two pieces of stoneware recently excavated at the Ittouchi Matsubayama ruins in the town of Adachi, Fukushima Prefecture, are likely to have been deliberately placed where they were found, officials of the municipal school board's research committee announced Monday.

The ruins are one of the dozens of sites nationwide that were studied by an archaeologist who admitted in November to faking finds at two sites.

According to the committee, one of the two pieces of stoneware in question, which were found Wednesday, is a tool-like stone shard measuring 3 cm x 2 cm.

Colored light brown, it has little trace of having been buried underground for a long time.

The other find in question is a black-colored stone tool that was found buried in dirt softer than the soil surrounding it, the officials said.

"(The finds) were dug up under circumstances that are very unnatural should they be considered objects from old strata, and the possibility remains that these stone objects were artificially buried," the committee said.

Monday's announcement comes as suspicions linger among archaeological experts after the discovery in November that Shinichi Fujimura, former senior director at the Tohoku Paleolithic Institute in Miyagi Prefecture, had planted artifacts at archaeological sites in Miyagi and Hokkaido to make it seem as though he had unearthed them.

The two sites - the Soshin Fudozaka ruins in the town of Shintotsukawa, Hokkaido, and the Kamitakamori ruins in Tsukidate, Miyagi Prefecture - are among 33 ruins in eight prefectures where the disgraced archaeologist had conducted archaeological digs. On a succession of occasions, he claimed to have found the oldest pieces of man-made artifacts at the sites.

Fujimura himself has denied, however, fabricating the discovery of stoneware at any other sites, including the Ittouchi Matsubayama ruins.

Nevertheless, over the past months archaeologists throughout Japan have been inspecting the sites that he supervised in an effort to ensure that his claims are true.