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The Eta Funayama Burial Mound and the Advanced Culture of Provincial Clans

"The Eta Funayama Burial Mound and the Advanced Culture of Provincial Clans"

Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery  December 15, 2020 (Tue) - June 13, 2021 (Sun)

  
Gilt Bronze Crown, Kofun period, 5th-6th century (National Treasure)

Eta Funayama, which is located in Kumamoto prefecture in southwestern Japan, is a keyhole-shaped burial mound with a length of 77 meters. The numerous objects excavated from this mound include a now-famous sword with inscriptions in silver inlay, jewelry and other ornaments made of gold, silver, and gilt bronze, imported bronze mirrors, horse tack, and weapons. As prime examples of objects excavated from a burial mound in Japan, they were designated National Treasures in 1965.

The jewelry and accessories, in particular, which are made from precious metals, are equivalent in quality to Korean accessories related to prestigious governmental ranks. Moreover, the gilt bronze crowns and ornamental shoes served as models for objects created later in Japan, and led to the custom of wearing metal accessories in the 6th century. Horse tack was also excavated from this mound and shows that the Japanese had acquired the technique of horseback riding. Furthermore, unique Japanese armor, which was made in the Kinai region, suggests that the entombed individuals were advanced and had strong connections with the central Yamato Kingdom. These excavated objects shine light on the activities of provincial clans in Japan, which interacted with Korean kingdoms such as Baekje.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 8 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND National Treasure Gilt Bronze Crown Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-787
_MD_RECOMMEND National Treasure Gilt Bronze Crown Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-794
_MD_RECOMMEND National Treasure Gilt Bronze Crown Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-786
National Treasure Pair of Gold Earrings Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-797
National Treasure Pair of Gold Earrings Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-798
_MD_EXPLANATION National Treasure Gilt Bronze Shoes Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-801
_MD_RECOMMEND National Treasure Iron Beaked Helmet Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-731
_MD_RECOMMEND National Treasure Iron Sword with Ring Pommel, Covered with Silver Leaf Kofun period, 5th-6th century J-562
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