In the news: More recent finds of Lelang pottery finds on Honshu from the Yayoi Period prove Chinese sphere of influence included proto-historic and ancient Japan

A relatively complete specimen of Lelang pottery (height 17 cm) was recently found at Zanmochi Iseki(山持遺跡) located in Nishihayashigi-chou (西林木町), Izumo city (出雲市), Shimane prefecture. The pottery ware molded on a potter’s wheel (rokuro 轆轤), is thought to have been produced in the northern Korean peninsula sometime from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. This find adds to the collection of eight Lelang earthernware shards found previously at Zanmochi Iseki.

This discovery (on top of other numerous items of foreign provenance) throws light on Zanmochi Iseki’s role as a flourishing trading center during the 2nd-11th century and its sphere of influence over the Izumo Plain and the community that constructed the Nishidani Funbo-Gun.

The majority of around 300 pieces of pottery that were originally made at the Lelang Commandery  and that have turned up in archaeological sites within Japan — the majority of those sites are in northern Kyushu. On Honshu Island, only two sites have yielded Lelang pottery. Besides Zanmochi Iseki, a single piece was recovered from the sea off of Kashima-chou (鹿島町), Matsue city (松江市), Shimane prefecture.

The Lelang Commandery (Rakurou-gun 楽浪郡), was a Han outpost located in the northern Korean peninsula and in existence from 108 BC-313 AD.

Source:  Zanmochi Iseki – Lelang Commandery pottery appears at Yayoi site by Joseph Ryan (Jan 10, 2011 Ancient Japan- Unexpurgated History website); For the original Zanmochi Iseki press release see here and the 発掘調査現場レポート here.

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