福井洞窟

Fukui Cave


Useful Information

Location: Yoshiicho Fukui, Sasebo, Nagasaki.
(33.292435, 129.696769)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Closed 31-DEC, 01-JAN.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyErosional Cave
Light: n/a
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Fukui Cave, Fukui, Yoshii-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture 859-6302, Tel: +81-.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1945 earthenware and iron discovered by local historians during the renovation of the shrine.
1960 begin of archaeological excavations.
2011 third excavation of the cave.
2021 Fukui Cave Museum opened to the public.

Description

福井洞窟 (Fukui Cave) is not a show cave, It's actually just a shelter, a huge grotto under a sandstone cliff, created by the erosion of the river. Such caves exist in abundance and as they are good shelters, they were used by our ancestors as campground and barbeque area. And like today, they threw broken stuff away, and it was covered in leaves and sand from the sandstone of the cave ceiling.

The cave was well known by the locals, and it was used for a shrine. One day in 1945 they renovated the shrine. But when they started to dig a hole in the ground, they discovered earthenware and pieces of iron in the earth and sand of the cave floor. Local historians examined them and decided that this were archaeological remains. The discovery was reported and from 1960 archaeological excavations took place. Chosuke Serizawa and Yoshimasa Kamaki supervised the excavations, which revealed a sequence covering the cultural transition from the Paleolithic period to the Jomon period.

In 2011 the cave was re-investigated and a trench 1 m wide and 6 m long excavated through 5.5m deep sediments to the rock of the cave. This excavation is called the Heisei survey. The parking lot in front of the cave was also excavated, in prehistoric times this was a meadow at the river and was used by the people to erect tents, make fire places, to produce tools, or simply relax. Also excavations were made in other nearby shelters. In the Higashiiwa shelter they revealed andesite and obsidian flakes from the Jomon period. The Naoya Iwain remains from 40,000 BP to the Jomon period were discovered.