OSAKA, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- A team of Japanese archaeologists has found a piece of pottery painted with the face of ogre which dates back to the 12th century in Nara Prefecture in western Japan.
The earthenware was excavated from a well built in the early 12th century at Shindo Remains in Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture, where once Japan's capital was located, Japan's Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) public broadcaster reported Friday.
The excavation team said that the pottery is round shape with about 10 centimeters in diameter, noting that a face of ogre was drawn on its surface in ink. In particular, the team stressed, bold lines are clearly shown for his eyes, eyebrows and tusks from his mouth, making the face quite humorous and impressive.
It is believed that the discovery of pottery is the first time in Japan.
The team started the excavation in June 2010 and also found in the same site other pieces of pottery which seem to be used as dishes or saucers for ritual ceremony in the era.
Japanese archaeologist Shinichi Sagawa in Gangoji Institute for Research of Cultural Property was quoted by NHK as saying that it was widely believed during the Middle Ages, possibly by legend from China, that picturing or imaging of ogre was one of the popular methods to protect people's daily life from enemy, evil and illness.
The pottery will be on display at Kashihara Municipal Senduka Museum from this Saturday to the end of March.