In the news: Ancient Nara – Heian period ornamental pond and garden site discovered in Tohoku region

Remains of artificial pond discovered around ancient capital of Tohoku region

The Konoike area, which appears to have been a pond. (Mainichi)
The Konoike area, which appears to have been a pond. (Mainichi)

TAGAJO, Miyagi — Archaeologists have discovered what appears to be traces of an artificial pond 400 meters in circumference here, part of an ornamental garden dating back to the Nara or Heian periods.

The area, where the ruins of Taga Castle are located, was the former capital of the Tohoku region. The pond, measuring around 130 by 100 meters, appears to have been created by a wood and stone dike — the remains of which have been unearthed near the ancient government office’s south gate road.

The site dates back to between the late 8th and late 9th century, judging from geological samples and artifacts found.

The dike appears to have been constructed by shoring up a wooden picket fence with earth, with paving stones laid on top. Located in the swampy Konoike area, the new discovery raises the likelihood that the pond was artificial.

Click here for the original Japanese story

(Mainichi Japan) November 15, 2009

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