In the news: Ancient mirrors unearthed in Fukui

FUKUI (Kyodo) Two ancient metal-cast mirrors, one of them decorated with heraldry dating from the Yayoi Period between 300 B.C. and A.D. 300, have been excavated from a burial mound in Fukui Prefecture, according to Fukui city officials.

The round mirrors were found inside a wooden casket dating from the first half of the fourth century, at the Hananotani No. 1 burial mound in the city of Fukui.

One of the mirrors, measuring 9.6 cm in diameter and decorated with patterns associated with the Yayoi rulers of ancient Japan, dates to the latter half of the first century B.C.

Kunihiko Kawakami, an archaeologist based in the ancient capital of Nara, said the mirror was probably worn hanging from the neck in religious ceremonies to reflect the sun’s rays and to indicate the wearer’s social status.

The second mirror, with a diameter of 22 cm and bearing images of ancient Chinese mythical beasts, dates from a later period.

Local authorities said the discovery is the first time that two mirrors have been found together at a burial site.

The fact that the Yayoi mirror was buried as an accessory to the later type suggested that the power of the Yayoi rulers had spread to the Fukui region in central Honshu but had declined in influence, they said.

The larger of the two mirrors is of the same type as others unearthed earlier at the Kurozuka burial mound in Nara and the Ishizuka burial mound in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Experts said it may have been an offering from the Ishizuka rulers.

 

Source: Japan Times

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