Archaeology at Iwaki City: Shell Mounds and Tunnel Tombs

"Archaeology at Iwaki City: Shell Mounds and Tunnel Tombs"

Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery  September 26, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

Harness Bell, Gilt bronze (detail), Excavated at Nakada Tunnel Tombs, Iwaki-shi, Fukushima, Kofun period, 6th–7th century (Iwaki City Board of Education)

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Iwaki city in Fukushima prefecture is an area with a concentration of shell mounds that range from the early to the final Jomon period (ca. 11,000–5th century BC). These mounds suggest that fishing was the primary means of sustenance for the people living in this region, where fishing tools were developed to a surprising extent, while many stone figurines and tablets for use in rituals have also been excavated.
In the Kofun period (ca. 3rd–7th century), this region saw the construction of numerous tunnel tombs in which gorgeous grave goods were buried. Particularly renowned examples of these are the Nakada tunnel tombs, which feature richly-colored mural paintings.
This exhibition showcases objects borrowed through a reciprocal lending of archaeological objects for FY2017 between the Museum and the Iwaki City Archaeological Centre.

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