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A 1,500 year-old tomb containing human remains and armor of a chieftain has been discovered in very good condition.

The tunnel-tomb was found in the city of Shibushi on Japan's third largest island, Kyushu, while workers were paving a road along a farm.

The tomb contains the most burial goods in the region, with more than 20 pieces including an arrowhead, spear, iron axe, sword and a cuirass (breastplate), which was likely given to the chieftain as a gift from the Yamato imperial court.

Celebrated ancient Japanese chieftain is found alongside incredibly well-preserved body armour in a 1,500-year-old tomb


The tunnel-tomb was found in the city of Shibushi on the island of Kyushu

It was found while workers were paving a road along a farm in December of 2017

The tomb contains the most burial goods in the region, with more than 20 items

Items including an arrowhead, spear, iron axe, sword and a cuirass (breastplate

The breastplate was likely given to the chieftain as a gift from the Yamato court


By Cecile Borkhataria For Mailonline
22 February 2018

A 1,500 year-old tomb containing human remains and armor of a chieftain has been discovered in very good condition.

The tunnel-tomb was found in the city of Shibushi on Japan's third largest island, Kyushu, while workers were paving a road along a farm.

The tomb contains the most burial goods in the region, with more than 20 pieces including an arrowhead, spear, iron axe, sword and a cuirass (breastplate), which was likely given to the chieftain as a gift from the Yamato imperial court.

The skeletal remains were found in a stone coffin, and belonged to a 5ft 5in male.

The iron armour suit discovered in the tomb, called tanko, was preserved in surprisingly pristine condition.


The tomb contains the most burial goods in the region, with more than 20 pieces including an arrowhead, spear, iron ax, sword and a cuirass (breastplate), which was likely given to the chieftain as a gift from the Yamato imperial court


According to Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun, the tomb is one of the largest in the eastern part of the Kagoshima district on the southern tip of Kyushu island.

'It was likely built got a powerful leader in the local region who was directly connected with the Yamato imperial court,' archaeologist Tatsuya Hashimoto, of the Kagoshima University Museum, told the Asahi Sumbun.

By the end of the fourth century, the Yamato imperial court was settled on the Nara plain, with considerable control over the peoples of the archipelago.

The Yamato period was a historical period characterised by the presence of large burial mounds called Kofun, and the newly discovered tomb is thought to have come from the Kofun period, which spanned the third to the sixth century and is one of the two eras of the Yamato period.


The Yamato period was a historical period characterised by the presence of large burial mounds called Kofun. The tomb measures 8 feet 6 inches long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet 3 inches deep


The tomb measures 8 feet 6 inches long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet, 3 inches deep.

Burials before the Kofun period were fairly primitive, but from the 3rd century large tombs, which were circular and uniquely keystone-shaped, began to spread throughout Japan.

The good associated with these tombs were often military in nature compared to earlier tombs, and contained item such as swords, arrowheads and armour.

According to The Times, Japan has more than 200,000 ancient burial grounds, and in August of 2017, the Japanese government and archaeologists argued over whether the 'kofun' should be excavated.


The tunnel-tomb was found in the city of Shibushi on Japan's third largest island Kyushu, while workers were paving a road along a farm in December of 2017


The government wishes to designate a certain number of these tombs, where emperors and chieftains were buried, for registration as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This would mean that archaeologists would not be allowed to excavate the tombs.

'Academic study [of the kofun] is essential,' says Noboru Toike, a professor of history at Tokyo’s Seijo University, who opposes the world heritage application.

'It is wrong to present them to the world without knowing their value, such as when they were built, and for whom.

'If you want to use them as tourist sites, you should do the research first.

'This is the wrong way round.'

WHAT WAS THE YAMATO PERIOD?

The Yamato Period, commonly broken into two separate eras: The Kofun Era (250-538 AD, characterised by the presence of large burial mounds called Kofun) and the Asuka Era (538-710), saw the emergence of a central governing power in the west of Japan, centred around the Yamato Province.

It was there that a local clan, called Yamatom, began to establish its claim as the imperial bloodline of the nation.

The native religion there, Shintō, was prevalent and its mythology was woven into the Yamato claim of suzerainty, where a state of person is independent and self-ruling.

Yamato culture and political alliance spread across a large part of southern Japan, but during the latter half of this period (the Asuka Era), Buddhism, Chinese writing and other mainland Asian exports arrived via the Korean kingdom of Baekje.

Prince Shōtoku (574-622) established a centralised government, spread Buddhism a new set of reforms based on Confucianism and Chinese legal standards.


Daisen-kofun in Sakai, Osaka. This is one of the largest tombs in the world. Japanese government regards this as the tomb of Emperor Nintoku, the 16th emperor, but many historians don't think so. The keyhole-like Kofun tomb is 1594 feet long, 1000 feet at the bottom and 803 feet in diameter


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Last edited by Blackleaf; Feb 23rd, 2018 at 05:43 AM..