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The city is also known for its historic temples, and traditional festivals. The area around Matsue has been settled since prehistoric times, and archaeologists have found stone tools from the Japanese Paleolithic period (ca. 20,000 BC) in nearby Sakaemachi. The area was part of the ancient Izumo Province until Nara Prefecture was divided into provinces in 667 AD; it then became part of Shimane Province which took its name from Shimane District where Matsue now stands.