Japanese archaeologists believe they have uncovered a fragment of an ancient wooden ceremonial mask, the oldest to be discovered in the country. The object resembles a face, dates to the late second century and was found with wooden armor and bronze artifacts in the ruins of Daifuku Remains in Sakurai City. "We think the wooden object was used as a mask by an influential group of residents around the area to arrange a religious or solemn ceremony to show performed actions with the item," said chief researcher Teruhiko Hashimoto of Sakurai City's division of cultural assets.

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