Outlines on Excavation Research of Gokurakuji Hibiki Site


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  • 極楽寺ヒビキ遺跡の調査概要


Gokurakuji Hibiki site is located in eastern foot of Kongozan Mountains in the southwestern part of the Nara Basin. Archaeological excavations on the surrounding area revealed villages of the Middle to Late Kofun periods including a studio, warehouses, a large building, and so on. Also, about three kilometers to the northeast, there is Miyayama mounded tomb, the largest keyhole-shaped mounded tomb in south Katsuragi area, and the area is regarded highly as it is assumed to have a deep relationship with documents related to the Katsuragi clan.<BR>In fiscal 2004, during an excavation due to the organization of prefecture operated farm, features such as a ditched lot and a large pillared building of former half of the Middle Kofun period were recognized.<BR>The large pillared building is located on the west side of the excavated lot. The core of the building is 2×2 ken (one ken is about 1.82 meters), the four sides have rims of 5×5 ken, and there were fences on two sides in the west and south as long as 6 ken. Plank type pillars were used in the core. This building was surrounded by a pillared wall of about 25 meters north to south, and about 50 meters east to west that was parallel to the fence. These facilities were divided by a moat. The moat was considered to be about 13 meters wide and 2 meters deep. Its slope was paved with stones. It is assumed that a bank was crossed to go in and out of this lot. The bank, which can be confirmed under the present condition, is about 8 meters in width and about 12 meters in length, fanning out to the south.<BR>A small amount of artifacts were yielded from inside the moat, especially around where the crossing bank was installed. As for pottery, there were more Haji ware compared to Sue ware; bowls with a pedestal used for serving were conspicuous. Also, whereas Sue wares were excavated from mud buried in the moat, pottery excavated from the crossing bank and raised ground in the western side of the researched area consisted mainly of pedestaled bowls of Haji ware. Sue wares were not included.<BR>It is unlikely to think that the lot including the large building was used for everyday life for not many artifacts were found and the main pottery excavated was bowls with pedestals. Also, there are few examples of using plank pillars in the core part. This is an important result in order to consider the structure and nature of the building. Thus, it is considered that the lot with the large building was a facility of a public nature where rituals and state affairs were conducted, rather than a general living space. This site is extremely significant in understanding a powerful clan in the Katsuragi region.



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