Shards of an Islamic ceramic vase have been excavated at the former site of Heijokyo palace, in Japan, dating back to the 8th century, making it the oldest uncovered in Japan.
According to a report in the Asahi Shimbun, the 19 pieces of what is believed to be a vase more than 50 centimeters tall date back to the late eighth century, about 100 years earlier than Islamic ceramics found in Fukuoka Prefecture.
The researchers believe the vase was used during maritime trade to carry spices from the Islamic world.
Tatsuo Sasaki, a professor of archaeology at Kanazawa University, said the finding confirms that Nara was a terminus on the ancient Silk Road of the Sea.
Heijokyo was the nation’s capital during the Nara Period (710-784).