News from the world of Asian archaeology
Japan: Befor the usage of the yen the first Japanese circulated currency was the wadokaichin. It had been thought the coins were used sometime in the 8th century AD . But until recently there had been little archaeological evidence to properly date their production. At ab foundry site in Yamaguchi prefecture, archaeologist have discovered a fragment of a coin, pieces of molds, and tools for coin production, and a collection of wooden tablets- one of which bears the date corresponding to AD 730. The find opens new avenues for the study of Japanese economy.
An excavation at a train yard in Dazaifu has exposed remnants of two large prestigious buildings as well as utensils, and pottery of a expensive variety. Within the find was found tin and copper alloy spoons Chinese and Korean pots (possibly cooking or serving) and Nara tricolored ware( the finest tableware in Japan at the time), dated to the eighth and nineth centuries. Thye assemblage of buildings and other ancient documents, that housed and fed diplomatic envoys from China, and Korea.
Taiwan: Most of the indigenous population on the island of Taiwan are of the race of seafarers who most likely were those who migrated into the pacific and populated its islands, from the Marianis to Rapa Nui. A recently uncovered 8,000-year-old burial site on tiny Liang island could help researchers understand the genetics and culture of these early Austronesians before the departed for distant lands.
China: 2,000 years after it was raised the army of China's first soverin emperor has added more than 100 new conscripts. Since 2009 archaeologist have been working on a previously unexplored part of the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi in the city of Xi'an in northwestern China. According to Shen Maosheng, the chief archaeologist of this new excavation these recent discoveries are important because the coloful paint that once decorated the warriors is particulary well preserved.
Shen also believes the team has uncovered evidence of an acient act of agression aimed at the emperor's ceramic army. Some of the statues were found toppled over, weapons appear to have been stolen, and this section of tomb shows evidenceof arson, suggesting that it had been attacked, possiblyby Xiang Yu, the leader of a rebellion aginst against Qin Shihuangdi in the third century B.C.