A team of archaeologists and researchers have discovered an ancient Chinese arrowhead in western Japan’s Okayama Prefecture, the first of its kind, they say, to be unearthed in the country. Made of bronze, the ancient weapon has been dated as far back as 475 BC to 221 BC, a time in ancient Chinese history known as the warring states period.
The scientists formally describe the artifact as a “double-winged bronze arrowhead,” and say it was dug up in the Minamigata ruins located in Okayama City. The arrowhead measures half an inch (1.3 centimeters) wide and 1.4 inches long (3.5 cm) long. Interestingly it was found alongside the remains of several artifacts from Japan’s Iron Age, including fragments of pottery and stone tools dating to 300 BC to 100 BC, or the Yayoi period.
Archaeologists say the double-winged shape is a distinctive style of manufacturing from that period in ancient China. When it comes to understanding how to came to Japan, they believe it would have been imported with care by someone with influence. An Okayama City official adds that there would be a significant gap between when it was made in China and when it was actually used in Japan. This adds to the theory that the arrowhead was more likely used as a ritual or burial item rather than a weapon.