Archaeology Magazine

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Smooth Stones Thought To Be Japan’s Oldest Weights

Monday, August 19, 2013

NARA, JAPAN—A set of 11 smooth stones discovered some 30 years ago in a village dating to the Yayoi Period (300 B.C. to A.D. 300), may have been used as weights for scales, and not as grinding stones as had been thought, according to archaeologist Susumu Morimoto of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. The cylindrical stones are 500 years older than the oldest bronze weights from the same period. “It may have been a more advanced era already with measurements and mathematics,” he said.