Yamashita ruins to become park for citizens
January 12, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
Yamashita Town First Cave Ruin is known as one of the oldest ruins of the Paleolithic period. Naha City government completed a project to renovate the cave and made it a park. An inauguration ceremony was held in Yamashita Town, Naha, on January 8. Based on a rocky stretch where a human bone 32,000 years old was found, the new park is expected to provide an opportunity for study and tourism.
The cave is about 1.2 meters in width, about 3 meters high, and about 5 meters in depth. It was found in 1962. The second excavation team unearthed tools made of the horns and bones of deer. The bone of a female infant who is presumed to have been eight years old when she died was also discovered. The infant was named Yamashita Cave Person. In 1969, the then Ryukyu government designated the area a historic site, and it is currently designated as such by the Okinawa Prefectural Government.
The new park is about 900 square meters in size. By purchasing private land, the city government worked on the project to renovate it. The project cost about 100 million yen. The park is equipped with toilets, benches, fitness equipment, and a space that can park two cars.
Local residents attended the ceremony. Naha City Mayor Mikiko Shiroma said in speech, “I pray for the park to be loved by the local citizens and provide a place for exchange.” Naha City Assembly member Toru Kinjo said, “It is rare for ruins to become a park.” Kinjo expected the park to be effectively used.
In the ceremony, nursery school toddlers performed a dance and an explanation about the ruins was provided by the city staff.
(English translation by T&CT)
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