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summarized by Charles T. Keally
August 27, 2001
revised: November 12, 2001
In that interview, Oda also expressed the fear that the Miyagi finds were being accepted before the questions about them were cleared up. He noted that Serizawa Chosuke had tried [and largely failed] to convince the archaeology world that his lithics were human artifacts. But the Miyagi lithics were most likely human artifacts; now the proponents were taking the different tactic of trying to convince us that the dates are accurate. Fifteen years later, after the Early Palaeolithic materials had received almost universal acceptance in Japan, and up to the day before the fabrication scandal broke in November 2000, the questions and doubts that Oda expressed in this interview remained unanswered (CTK).
This might be explained by a much younger age than what is claimed, and thus less time for the actions of nature to displace the artifacts. They could match the Musashino Upland's Phase I, which is dated 20 ka or a little older.
Flooding of the Zazaragi site could explain the lack of charcoal and refittable pieces -- the water would wash away the light materials and leave behind only the heavier stones. And stones banging together during the flooding might have produced the "artifacts", i.e. geofacts.
There are about 3,000 Palaeolithic sites in the country [in 1985] but only about 2% of them are below the Aira-Tanzawa (AT) pumice [dated about 22 ka]. In Tokyo only about 20 sites have yielded artifacts below AT [out of about 200 sites in 1985, most of which have multiple occuapations]. Further, a great many people all over the country are looking for Early Palaeolithc artifacts and not finding them; the intensive search is not limited to Miyagi Prefecture.
Oda went on to say that he feels the oldest materials -- Stratum X -- so far confirmed in the Tokyo area and in Japan are developed enough to suggest they have predecessors in Japan. But during the Musashino Loam time (30-60 ka) in Tokyo, the upland was subjected to frequent flooding and possibly was not a good place for human occupation.
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