Oldest bronze mold found in Wakayama

Mainichi Shimbun, Wednesday 12 May 1999

GOBO, Wakayama—A fragment of a mold used to make bronzeware, believed to be the nation's oldest of its kind, has been found in ancient ruins here, according to the local municipal board of education.

The discovery, at the Katada ruins here, is considered to date back to the latter half of the third century B.C., about 50 years older than the molds for bronze tools previously unearthed in Kyushu, researchers said.

The latest discovery challenges the common view that the bronze culture of China and the Korean Peninsula was first introduced into northern Kyushu and then to the Kinki area.

The fragment, made of sandstone, is about 6.5 centimeters long, 6 centimeters wide and 6 centimeters thick. It is believed to have been used to mold spearheads.