The Oldest Site In Okinawa
Yamashita-cho Cave 1, Naha, History and More


Okinawa.Org Staff
Dec 26, 2018
Yamashita-cho Cave 1, located in Naha City, is the oldest site on Okinawa dating back to the prehistoric stone age at being 32,000, years old.

Stairway into Yamashita-cho Cave 1

This is a goldmine for those aspiring anthropologists in Okinawa, or those just studying anthropology to have a connection to such an old site while here.

While you may not be able to enter the cave, as the sign says...

Do not enter the Yamashita-cho Cave 1.

You can still get a good view of the inside.

Not a large cavern, but, this is Yamashita-cho Cave 1

There are also two pedestals next to each other there providing some history of the site, one in English and another in Japanese.

History of the Yamashita-cho Cave 1

The one on the left gives information on the find and excavations in English.

History of the Yamashita-cho Cave 1 in English

Naha City Yamashita-cho Cave 1 said:
The cave is located on a small hill of Ryukyu limestone, approximately 15 meters above sea level. The opening of the cave faces south and is approximately 1.5 meters, with a depth of about 5 meters, and height is approximately 3 meters. Two excavations have been conducted at the cave site. In the study conducted in 1962, deer bone and artifacts, stone artifacts (stone pellets), and other tools have been excavated. In the study conducted in 1968, six sedimentary layers were confirmed. Unearthed from the lowest layer, the sixth sedimentary layer, were bone and horn artifacts made from deer bone and horn carvings, and also the femur and tibia bones from a child of around 8 years in age. In addition, dating conducted on a charcoal collected from the third sedimentary layer showed that the site dates back to approximately 32,000 years ago, making this the oldest site in Okinawa.

Whereas the one on the right displays the bones and some more information in Japanese, which roughly translates to a summarized version of the English one.

History of the Yamashita-cho Cave 1 in Japanese

To see the cave entrance, you can go through Yamashita First Cave Site Park and down the stairway in the back of the mound.

Stairs down to the cave

Or, you can enter from the front of the park. But if you take this route, you'll need to bypass the entrance if you want to see the pedestals above.

To the left of this sign is a stairway leading up to the cave
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.
Japan, Okinawa, Naha, 山下町Yamashitacho, 27−5 山下町第一洞穴遺跡

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