Experts bowled over by ancient urn found on bed of Lake Biwako 琵琶湖底發現的古甕令專家驚喜
An underwater robot has snapped photographs of a pottery urn probably dating from the seventh or eighth century that has been left almost intact at the bottom of Lake Biwako.
It is believed to be a reddish brown Haji pottery urn made sometime between the Asuka Period （592-710） and Nara Period （710-784）.
The urn was found in an underwater archaeological site called the Tsuzuraozaki Kotei Iseki.
Since 1924, many pottery pieces, mainly from between the Jomon Pottery Culture Period （c. 8000 B.C.-300 B.C.） and Heian Period （794-1185）, have been found at the site at a depth between 10 and 70 meters, often caught in fishing nets.
It remains a mystery why so much pottery from such a wide time span have been found at this site.
Some speculate a settlement was submerged by a rise in the water level or the pots were sunk there in obscure rituals. Others sidestep romance and suggest it was just a dumping ground for used ceramics.