Questions arise over second Japanese site. (Archaelogy)

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Author: Dennis Normile
Date: Nov. 23, 2001
From: Science(Vol. 294, Issue 5547)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 681 words

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TOKYO--A team of archaeologists has cast strong doubts on claims that a cave in western Japan contains evidence concerning the extent of early human habitation of the archipelago. The accuracy of the cave findings is also the subject of a suit filed this month by the family of the site's lead scientist, who killed himself after a Japanese news magazine reported that the findings might be bogus. It's the second time in a year that the veracity of an archaeological dig has made headlines in Japan (Science, 10 November 2000, p. 1083).

Archaeologist Mitsuo Kagawa led excavations in 1961 and 1962 of the Hijiridaki Cave in Oita Prefecture, on Kyushu Island in western Japan. The digs produced human and animal bones and stone artifacts, some of which Kagawa and his colleagues concluded date back 10,000 years or more. Although the dating has always been controversial, Hijiridaki made its way into Japanese textbooks because it was the only site in Japan where stone tools and human bones have been found together....

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A80681040