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1 août 2013 4 01 /08 /août /2013 15:25

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Ancient tumulus discovered in Osaka residential area

Stones that were used for the Nagayama tumulus are seen in this photo in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. (Mainichi)
Stones that were used for the Nagayama tumulus are seen in this photo in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. (Mainichi)

SAKAI, Osaka -- Ancient clay figures and stones that belonged to the Nagayama tumulus, which appears in documents but was thought to have been removed through land development, have been discovered for the first time at a residential area here.

The Sakai Municipal Government announced July 30 that the pieces of ancient stones and clay figures that were discovered in the city's residential area are part of the Nagayama tumulus. Researchers also found out that the burial mound was built in the late fourth century, suggesting that it's one of the oldest tumuli in the Mozu Tumuli Cluster.

Among other burial mounds in the tumuli cluster, the Nagayama tumulus is located closest to Osaka Bay along with the Chinooka tumulus of the same period. Because of this, city officials believe that buildings of these large tumuli started from places near the sea.

The municipal government has been conducting an excavation survey on the area, about 2,200 square meters in size, since May this year for reconstruction of public housing. According to the city's cultural property section, the stones are believed to have been used for the edge of the tumulus. They are placed straight and are about 16 meters long, 1.4 meters in width and 0.5 meters in height. The stones are believed to be part of the keyhole-shaped Nagayama tumulus, which is calculated to be 100 meters in size.

Researchers also found other ancient articles around the area such as a piece of a circular stone, about 20 centimeters in diameter, a shield from the late fourth century and pieces of clay figurines.

Nagayama tumulus is located several hundred meters from the sea of that period. The Chinooka tumulus is built about 700 meters south of the Nagayama burial mound. City officials suppose that these tumuli were designed to display the power of leaders when viewed from the ocean.

An information session is scheduled to be held at the site from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 3. No application is required. For more information, call the Sakai Municipal Government's cultural property section at 072-273-6101 (in Japanese).

July 31, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

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