A carving of a dancing shaman has been found on an ancient pottery shard unearthed years ago at an archaeological site in Aomori, making it possibly the oldest depiction of a shaman on an artifact uncovered in Japan.
"It is speculated to be a shaman with a ritual tool in hand, praying and dancing. It is a very valuable find," says Michio Okamura, chairman of an expedition committee for the site.
The shard was uncovered in 1993 from an earth mound near the center of the Sannai-Maruyama archaeological site in the city of Aomori. The shard has been dated to the middle Jomon period, around 4,300 years ago. Last month, a worker noticed that there was a carving of a human on it. Read more.