In the news: Discovery of possible remains of part of the West Palace of Nagaoka-kyo (Nara period)

More remains of a Nara-period palace (Mainichi Daily News, 18 December 2010)

Archaeologists at the Muko City Center for Archaeological Operations, Kyoto, announced the discovery of a large wall constructed with pillars which they believe to have been part of the West Palace of the old capital of Nagaoka-kyo (AD 784-794) mentioned in the Heian period historical text the Shoku Nihongi. The Emperor Kanmu is recorded to have moved from the West to the East palace in AD 789. Twenty one pillar holes, reminiscent of those in other palatial buildings were discovered, surrounded by stone-lined drainage ditches. The wall, estimated to be some 145 m from north to south. is comparable in length to the 159 m wall of the East Palace already known. While Professor Yoshinori Hashimoto of Yamaguchi University suggests that ‘the East and West palaces were built as the inner palace for the most recently retired emperor and the residence of the new emperor,’ Professor Akira Yamanaka of Mie University argues rather that the wall was part of the Shimano-in garden facility also mentioned in the Shoku Nihongi.

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