5,000-year-old Jomon pottery from Nagaoka (Niigata prefecture) on exhibition at the British Museum

Rare jars: Prehistoric pots excavated in Niigata Prefecture are displayed last week in the British Museum in London. KYODO

British Museum shows 5,000-year-old pottery


LONDON — Two rare prehistoric pots excavated in Niigata Prefecture have gone on display at the British Museum in London as part of an exhibition on the Jomon Period.

The vessels, which date back about 5,000 years and were unearthed at the Iwanohara dig in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, are being exhibited overseas for the first time with the assistance of the Niigata Municipal Science Museum.

Officials from Nagaoka said it is very rare for such pots to be loaned overseas.

Used to cook and store food, the vessels are marked with cord imprints and some of the elaborate decorations may represent animals, according to experts.

“The citizens of Nagaoka are very proud of this exhibition and the fact that people from all over the world can learn more about a culture that existed 5,000 years ago,” Nagaoka Mayor Tamio Mori said.

The exhibition’s curator, Nicole Rousmaniere, said: “I’m thrilled to have the pots here, it’s the highlight of my year. They are incredible pieces.”

The British Museum already has around 15 pots from the Jomon Period (about 10,000 to 300 B.C.), but they are far simpler in design and considerably less valuable. The display, which runs through Jan. 20, takes visitors on a trip through the Jomon Period and demonstrates its significance.

Source: Retr. from Japan Times, Oct 10, 2012

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