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4 November 2004
Ancient relics destroyed by Niigata earthquakes

A number of ancient relics at a Nagaoka museum (Japan) fell to pieces after toppling over in the powerful earthquakes that struck Niigata Prefecture on October 23rd.  Officials at the Nakaoka Municipal Science Museum, which holds the valued "kaen doki" vessels, articles representing earthenware from the ancient Jomon Period (13,000 BCE - 300 BCE), said 17 items were broken.
     The kaen doki items themselves were being displayed in Germany at the time of the earthquakes and were not affected. But other items were completely destroyed. "Some of the items are completely destroyed, and repairing them this year will be impossible," said a museum official. The damaged items include nine deep bowls, four earthen earrings, and two clay figures. Some of the items, including the earrings, crumbed into tiny pieces. A worker at the museum found the articles fallen over in their cases soon after the temblors struck. Museum officials said plates built to withstand earthquakes had been used, but they had proved ineffective.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun (1 November 2004)

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