Takasaki (Japon): warehouse from 8th century unearthed

Nobuyoshi Kanai

Source - http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201601290039?

TakasakiThe dig site of the eighth-century storage facility in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, lined with foundation stones on Jan. 28 (Nobuyoshi Kanai)

Remnants of a large Nara Period (710-784) storage facility discovered around the Tagohi monument here suggest the site was once at the center of a district of great importance to the imperial court.

In the discovery announced by the city’s board of education on Jan. 28, archaeologists found rows of stone foundations each measuring a meter or so in diameter, and piles of roof tiles on a hill about 300 meters south of the monument.

The fact that there was a building here with a tiled roof and stone foundations, a style mostly seen in palaces and temples, suggests how the Tago (district) was newly built at the time under a national project,” an education board official said.

Dating back 1,300 years, Tagohi is part of the trio of stone monuments known as Kozuke Sanpi in the city.

The government is considering nominating the monuments for UNESCO World Heritage site status.

Writing engraved on the Tagohi monument states that the district of Tago was established in 711 by the orders of the imperial court. The writing uses the state-of-the-art Chinese typographic styles of the time.

The discovery of a mass storage facility that likely acted as the central part of the district supports what the monument states.

The researchers believe a giant storage building measuring 16.8 meters east to west and 7.2 meters north to south once stood at the site.

It was built on stone foundations and had a roof lined entirely with tiles, the fanciest style of architecture in the Nara Period.

Ruins of a grain store complex were discovered in the area in 2014, and the large structure found in the latest dig is thought to be the “hoso,” the most important warehouse.