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Traces of Large Eighth-Century Structure Found in Japan

Monday, October 7, 2019

NARA PREFECTURE, JAPAN—The Mainichi reports that a team of researchers from the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara have uncovered what may have been a noble’s large home on the island of Honshu about one mile away from Fujiwarakyo, the capital of Japan between A.D. 694 and 710. The structure measured about 44 feet long and 18 feet wide, and was equipped with a gate, fence, and an outbuilding. This is the first large building from the Fujiwarakyo era to be found away from the center of the ancient capital. Hitoshi Hayashibe of the National Museum of Japanese History thinks that the luxurious home suggests the nobility of Fujiwarakyo were not required to live near the imperial palace, as was required by Empress Genmei, who completed the move of the imperial capital from Fujiwarakyo to Heijokyo in A.D. 710. Tsuyoshi Ozawa of Mie University, however, thinks the gate at the site indicates the structure was used as a government office. For more on Japanese archaeology, go to "Samurai Nest Egg." 

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