As of the end of October, pit dwellings from the Yayoi period dating back to the beginning of the 1st – 2nd centuries AD were discovered at this site. Three dwellings from the Jomon period (13,000 BC – 400 BC) were also found, one of which contained shellfish remains.
Recent excavations at the site of the former British Embassy in Tokyo’s Chiyoda district have revealed interesting traces of ancient Japanese history. At this site, intended for reconstruction by Mitsubishi Estate Residence and other companies, 28 pit dwellings dating back to the Yayoi and Jomon periods were excavated, Arkeonews writes.
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The most important thing about these finds is their historical significance. Yayoi period, covering approximately the 9th century BC. e. – III century AD e., marked a decisive time in Japan’s past. It was then that rice cultivation began and the first settled communities appeared. The discovery of dwellings from this era sheds light on how people lived during this time, providing invaluable information for researchers.
This was also the time of the famous Yamatai Kingdom, ruled by the legendary Princess Himiko.
Workers discovered Yayoi period pit dwellings dating from the early 1st to 2nd centuries AD, as well as three Jomon period dwellings dating back to 13,000 BC. e. – 400 BC e. In addition, 4 more dwellings from unknown eras were found, as well as fragments of ceramics
Among these finds was a dwelling containing the remains of shellfish, which provide insight into the diet of the ancient inhabitants.
Professor Ideshi Ishikawa of Meiji University said: “I was surprised to find ruins in the heart of Tokyo. Especially for the early Yayoi period, settlements with so many dwellings have hardly been discovered in the southern Kanto region before. They shed light on the then way of life and are an invaluable discovery from a scientific point of view.”
Despite the importance of these finds, their preservation is challenging. Although their importance is known, they do not yet fall within the definition of a historical site that will be protected by the state. The current plan is to document the excavation and then fill the site back in.
After the discovery was announced, consultations took place on whether to preserve part of the site or hold public briefings, but the company did not agree and these plans had to be abandoned. The wishes of developers and landowners take precedence over the treatment of excavated ruins, and similar cases are not uncommon in Japan.
The excavation marks the first exploration of the site since the Meiji era (1868-1912), suggesting the ruins may have been hidden beneath the surface for centuries. Exploratory excavations carried out in February discovered an ancient settlement, which led to the postponement of construction and the start of a thorough survey.
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Archaeological research will last until March 2024 and will cover approximately 7,700 square meters, of which only about half has been studied so far. This increases the likelihood of more important discoveries in the coming months.
Previously Focus wrote about water pipelines discovered in Iraq. Scientists believe that this technology for transporting water is thousands of years old.
We also talked about the medieval printing matrix, which has no analogues yet. She was found near Norwich.