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Stone dagger molds link ancient Japan to China

Ancient molds used for making daggers commonly found in China have been found in Japan.

Japanese archaeologists were astonished by the discovery as the artifacts bear a striking resemblance to finds in far-flung areas of northern China.

The two siltstone molds, each 30 centimeters long, 9 cm wide and 4 cm thick, were found overlapping each other. The designs allowed bladesmiths to cast both the handle and the blade as a single piece.

Each mold has two rings, each measuring 2.3 cm across, at the end of the handle that is decorated with saw-tooth and herringbone patterns. Both of those geometrical patterns are commonly seen on the surface of bronze bells unearthed in Japan.

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Story: The Asahi Shimbun | Photo: Ryo Kato

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