Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins

Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins (白保竿根田原洞穴遺跡 Shiraho Saonetabaru Dōketsu Iseki) is a paleoanthropological site located on Ishigaki Island of the Yaeyama Islands in Japan. Shiraho Saonetabaru is a limestone cave.[1]

It was discovered in 2007 when plans for the New Ishigaki Airport were being developed.[1] Remains of human heads, feet and arms were found, in all 9 bone fossils, by the Okinawa Limestone Cave Association between 2007 and 2009,[2] and three human samples were dated to between 20,000-16,000 years before present.[3] In the ruins were also found bones from wild boar and birds (one animal bone calibrated at 12,000 BP[3]), while during the three months in 2011 were discovered approximately 300 human bones from the stratum between 24,000-20,000 years old.[4]

In 2015, researchers from the University of the Ryukyus and University of Tokyo succeeded in radiocarbon dating three out of five of the bones tested. The three bones yielded the following dates: (20,030 to 18,100 years BP), (22,890 to 22,400 years BP) and (24,990 to 24,210 years BP).[1]

The investigation held between 2012 and 2016 found more than 1,000 human fragments from at least 19 human skeletons. The "No. 4" almost full skeleton was dated about 27,000 BP,[5] being the oldest full skeleton discovered in East Asia and several thousand years older than the skeletons of the Minatogawa people.[6] Due to the skeletons' postures, the site has been confirmed as the first graveyard in the Paleolithic age in Japan.[5]

Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins
Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins
Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins
location in Japan
LocationIshigaki Island of the Yaeyama Islands
Coordinates24°22′57″N 124°12′21″E / 24.38250°N 124.20583°ECoordinates: 24°22′57″N 124°12′21″E / 24.38250°N 124.20583°E

See also


  1. ^ a b c Kaifu, Yousuke; et al. (2015). "Pleistocene Seafaring and Colonization of the Ryukyu Islands, Southwestern Japan". In Kaifu, Yousuke; et al. (eds.). Emergence and Diversity of Modern Human Behavior in Paleolithic Asia. Texas A&M University Press.
  2. ^ "石器使わなかった旧石器人? 石垣島・白保竿根田原洞穴". Asahi Shinbun (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Asahi Shimbun Company Shinbun. 6 Nov 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  3. ^ a b Nakagawa, Ryohei (2010). "Pleistocene human remains from Shiraho-Saonetabaru Cave on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japan, and their radiocarbon dating". Anthropological Science. The Anthropological Society of Nippon. 118 (3). Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  4. ^ "24000 year-old human remains discovered at Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins in Ishigaki City". Ryūkyū Shimpō. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins confirmed as first graveyard during Old Stone Age in the country". Ryūkyū Shimpō. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  6. ^ Gaisho Yonekura (1 July 2016). "Discovery of oldest East Asian full-body human skeleton at Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins". Ryūkyū Shimpō. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
Ishigaki Airport

Ishigaki Airport (石垣空港, Ishigaki Kūkō), (IATA: ISG, ICAO: ROIG) was a third-class airport located 1 NM (1.9 km; 1.2 mi) from Ishigaki city centre in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The airport provided flights to major cities on the Japanese mainland as well as destinations throughout Okinawa Prefecture and the Yaeyama Islands. Commercial operations at Ishigaki Airport ceased at midnight on March 6, 2013, and New Ishigaki Airport opened on March 7, 2013. As of mid-2013, the possibility exists that the airport may be turned over fully to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. As a Type-3 airport, the JSDF was already in theory able to carry out operations from Ishigaki.

List of caves

This is a list of caves of the world, sorted by continent and then country.

Minatogawa Man

The Minatogawa people are a prehistoric people of Okinawa, Japan, represented by four skeletons, two male and two female, and some isolated bones dated between 20,000 and 22,000 years BCE. They are among the oldest skeletons of hominids yet discovered in Japan.

New Ishigaki Airport

New Ishigaki Airport (新石垣空港, Shin-Ishigaki Kūkō), (IATA: ISG, ICAO: ROIG), also branded as Painushima Ishigaki Airport (南ぬ島石垣空港, Painushima Ishigaki Kūkō, "Southern Island Ishigaki Airport"), is a regional airport located in the Shiraho district of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The airport is located near the eastern coast of Ishigaki Island. It connects the island to major cities in Japan as well as destinations throughout Okinawa Prefecture and the Yaeyama Islands. New Ishigaki Airport was built to replace Ishigaki Airport, which with a shorter runway of only 1,500 metres (4,900 ft), could not accommodate larger jets.

Operations at Ishigaki Airport ceased at midnight on March 6, 2013, and New Ishigaki Airport opened on March 7, 2013.

Pinza-Abu Cave Man

The Pinza-Abu Cave Man (ピンザアブ洞人, Pinza-Abu Dōjin) is a prehistoric people known from bones found in the Pinza-Abu Cave, near Ueno in Miyako Island, southern Japan. The remains appear to have the modern man anatomical type and have been dated to about 30,000 years ago, i.e. 25,800 ± 900 and 26,800 ± 1,300 before present. The name "Pinza-Abu" literally means "goat cave" in the local Miyako language.

Ryukyuan languages

The Ryukyuan languages (琉球語派, Ryūkyū-goha, also 琉球諸語, Ryūkyū-shogo or 島言葉, Shima kutuba, lit. Island Speech) are the indigenous languages of the Ryukyu Islands, the southernmost part of the Japanese archipelago. Along with the Japanese language, they make up the Japonic language family. The languages are not mutually intelligible with each other. It is not known how many speakers of these languages remain, but language shift towards the use of Standard Japanese and dialects like Okinawan Japanese has resulted in these languages becoming endangered; UNESCO labels four of the languages "definitely endangered" and two others "severely endangered".

Yamashita Cave Man

The Yamashita Cave People (山下洞人, Yamashita Dōjin) are the prehistoric humans known from many bones found in the Yamashita limestone cave near Naha, in Okinawa, Japan. The remains have been dated at 32,000±1000 years ago. The most important bones found in the cave in Yamashita are those of an approximately 6 to 8-year-old girl.

Prehistoric cave sites, rock shelters and cave paintings


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