Work and Ancient Mystery
Kawan and Masahiro Ohama from Japan
January, 1996, we participated in an archaeological
dig near the Okbo Elementary School in Kiyotake,
Japan, along with housewives and elderly farmers.
It was really cold, and a strong wind was blowing
all the time.
work we did was to dig down in the soil 5 cm at a
time and look for something ancient such as earthen
vessels, stone implements, and arrowheads.
Sometimes we dug down 30 cm at once.
dug down to some layers which could be seen on the
soil wall. The different colors of these layers
showed what had happened at different ages. For
example, there was a layer of volcanic ash from Mt.
in a few barbecue places where ancient people
cooked, there were the remains of ashes and
charcoal. The material that we longed to find was
"Kokuyoseki", or obsidian (a clear black stone for
cutting meat and making arrowheads, because it is
really hard to find and is beautiful.
excavation is really hard work. From 8:30 to 5:00,
we continued to dig in the soil. (Of course, we had
a lunch time and a rest time.) Then we had to get
rid of the soil which we dug. The cold climate, the
cold wind, and the dust made it hard for us. We
couldn't open our eyes.
we measured the size of each stone and our boss
drew the shape. It was really detailed work and
made us exhausted, but all of it was necessary to
carry out the excavation.
however, we feel it was a really good opportunity
because we were able to feel the ancient mystery
and the reality of the work, and also we were able
to become friends with the housewives and farmers
who were also participating in the dig.
Yayoi Artifact in My Father's Rice
is Hard Work, but Fun
for the Past
- ©1997-2007- Sandy
and Thomas Peters