A discovery made in an ancient tomb near Kyoto may be a sign that the influence of the Roman empire reached the edge of Asia.
Glass jewellery believed to have been manufactured by Roman craftsmen was found in the Japanese tomb.
Three glass beads that were probably made sometimes between the first and fourth centuries AD were found in a fifth-century tomb in Nagaoka, Kyoto Prefecture. The beads were made using natron, a chemical substance that was used by Roman craftsmen to melt glass, according to the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.
The manufacturing technique is also specific to the Roman Empire, with a multilayering method that caught gold leaves in between several layers of glass.
“They are some of the oldest multilayered glass products found in Japan, and very rare accessories that are believed to have been made in the Roman Empire and sent to Japan,” one of the researchers said. The discovery may reveal how far the Roman empire’s influence reached, he added.