OSAKA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- A team of Japanese archaeologists has found a bronze comma-shaped bead, which is believed to be the oldest of its kind in the country's history, in the western Japanese city of Tottori, local press reported on Thursday.
The metal curved bead, dating back to the early sixth century, was excavated from one of the tombs built in the early sixth 6 century at the Matsubara No. 10 Mound in the city according to the daily Mainichi Shimbun.
The city said the team has uncovered an area of about 1,100 square meters in the site since May 2012, adding that its members discovered the greenish colored artifact, which weighs 1.6 grams and is 1.71 centimeters long and 0.6 centimeters wide, together with about 20 glass beads during the excavation work for the tomb.
After the discovery, the research institute for cultural properties in Nara Prefecture confirmed that the bronze comma- shaped bead at the tomb was made decades earlier than the one hitherto had found in western Japan.
Kunihiko Sakata, a spokesperson for the city's cultural assets division said to Xinhua that since we can estimate the metal artifact found from one of the remains in Tottori is the oldest in Japan, we think there must be influential groups or peoples around the region in ancient times.
"We need more continue field investigations to reveal the whole history," Sakata added.
The bead will be displayed in the city museum next month.
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