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LastUpDate: February 9, 2021
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Hakata Culture vol.168


Ancient Ruins in Fukuoka: A Journey Back in Time 

Illustration image


In this month’s article, we are showcasing two important ancient ruins located within the city limits. In Hakata Ward, the Kanenokuma Remains was a communal graveyard built in a long and narrow hilly area along the Mikasa River. We know that it was used for about 400 years from the middle of the Early Yayoi period to the Late Yayoi period (2nd century BC~2nd century AD). Excavations of the site have unearthed 348 jar coffin graves, 119 hole-shaped graves, two stone coffin graves and the bones of 136 bodies.


The area has been turned into the Kanenokuma Remains Park. In 1985, the excavation pit was covered with a structure to create an exhibition hall where you can see the numerous jar coffins, other artifacts and human bones that were unearthed. The burial goods include a bracelet made of Sinustrombus latissimus, a species of sea snail that exists only in the seas between Tanegashima and Australia, which indicates that there was trade between mainland China and maritime Southeast Asia at that time.


Meanwhile, the Nokata Ruins in Nishi Ward are the remains of a large village dating back to Late Yayoi period (2nd century) to the Early Kofun period (3rd~4th century). This was an enclosed settlement surrounded by a series of earthen fortifications, the largest being an oval with a major axis of about 100 meters and containing about 10 pit dwellings within its walls. The smaller fortifications were rectangular, measuring 25~30 m per side, and this is where scholars believe stilt warehouses were built to store grains and other items.


As time passed, the village grew to encompass more than 100 pit dwellings, and jar coffin graves and stone coffin graves have been found on the outskirts of the settlement. The area is now part of Nokata Chuo Park, and an exhibition hall where you can view the remains of dwellings and excavated artifacts has been open to the public since 1992. After years of wear and tear at both Kanenokuma and Nokata, the remains underwent preservation work, and the exhibition facilities were renovated and reopened in 2019.




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古代を体感できる2つの遺跡

今回は福岡市内にある2つの重要な古代遺跡を紹介します。ひとつは博多区にある金隈遺跡です。御笠川沿いの南北に細長い丘陵地に造られた共同墓地で、弥生時代前期の中頃(紀元前2世紀)から後期(2世紀)にかけて、約400年にわたって利用されていたことが分かっています。348基の甕棺墓、119基の土壙墓、2基の石棺墓が発掘され、136体の人骨が出土しています。


一帯は金隈遺跡史跡公園として整備されていて、1985年には発掘調査現場に屋根をかけるような形で展示館が設置され、大量の甕棺や人骨を発掘されたままの状態で見学することができます。副葬品には種子島からオーストラリアにかけての海中にしか存在しないゴホウラ貝で作った腕輪などが見つかり、当時から中国大陸や南方諸国と交流があったことを物語っています。


西区にある野方遺跡は、弥生時代後期(2世紀)から古墳時代前期(3~4世紀)にかけての大規模な集落跡です。環濠と呼ばれる堀をめぐらせた集落で、大きなものは長径100メートル前後の楕円形で、その中に10件ほどの竪穴住居が建てられていました。また小さなものは一辺25~30メートルで、高床式倉庫が建てられて穀物などを貯蔵していたと考えられています。


時代が下るにつれて100件を超える竪穴住居の大集落となり、集落の外れには甕棺墓や石棺墓なども見つかっています。一帯は野方中央公園として整備され、住居跡や出土品を見学できる展示館も建設されて、1992年から一般公開しています。金隈遺跡も野方遺跡も遺跡や展示施設に痛みが生じていたため、全体を保存・改修して2019年にリニューアルオープンしています。