1600-Years Old, 7 foot Long Iron Sword and Beautiful Bronze Mirror Found From Ancient Tomb In Japan

In the western region of Nara, the biggest bronze mirror and largest dako iron sword have been excavated while searching an ancient tomb.

The twin discoveries made by the Tomio Maruyama Tumulus discovered in November are categorized as the nation’s treasures; according to experts, finding the mirror in the shape of a shield is one of the very first of this kind.

Its 2.3-meter sword with the meandering blade was the most extensive iron sword produced during that time in East Asia.

“These discoveries indicate that the technology of the Kofun period (300-710 AD) is beyond what had been imagined, and they are masterpieces in metalwork from that period,” said Kosaku Okabayashi, who is the Nara Prefecture’s deputy director at Archaeological Institute of Kashihara.

The researcher called the findings the most significant in the time of research. The discovery was named after the Kofun tombs erected by the ruling class.

The surface pattern of the mirror has designs of two other standard daryu mirrors that are distinctive due to the designs that draw inspiration from fantasies, and are primarily found in the western region of Japan.

The mirror in the shape of a shield measures 64 cm long and 31 centimeters in width maximum. It weighed 5.7 kilograms.

The earliest dako sword is distinguished by its snake-like, wavy forms and from which its name comes. Over 80 additional dako swords were discovered across Japan to the point of burial items.

The new sword is adorned with the markings of a sheath and a handle together, and its length is 2.6 meters, which is more than the previous longest dako sword that was discovered at about 85 centimeters.

Mirrors and shields are believed as tools used to guard people who are dead against evil spirits. The sword is believed to have been increased in size to boost its power, and the chance of using it as a combat tool is low, as they claimed.

It is the Tomio Maruyama burial mound, a giant burial mound in Japan at 109 meters in size and dating to the late fourth century. It is believed to be the property of an influential person who supported the Yamato rulers during the period.

The burial site in which the findings were made is believed to belong to somebody close to the deceased, According to Naohiro Toyoshima, an archaeology teacher at Nara University. He added that the sacred sword and shield-shaped mirror could indicate that the person had been involved with military or ceremonial activities.

32-year-old Riku Murase, who was part of the team who excavated the objects, claimed that the length of the sword was incredible and that his team at first believed there were multiple swords. He himself thought that it was some sort of a unique bronze plate.

“It was my dream to dig up a mirror. Who knew that it would be something so incredible,” he said.

The excavation area is accessible to visitors on Saturdays between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and then on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The sword and mirror are not displayed as they are under study, and the preservation process is ongoing.


Also read about Japan’s Top 8 Natural Wonders

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