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National treasure-class mirror, sword found in 4th-century tomb in Japan

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Leaving sites to be excavated in the future when it is expected there will be better techniques and technology is a standard practice in archeology.

Fox Sora Winters, if you look at Anglo Saxon and other migration period swords you will see on the edges the linear striations of lamination, the centres have the very recognisable pattern welding designs which tend to dominate what is seen as the edges are less noticeable.

garymalgrem, thank you for the sites, will read them later, ultimately there are no “pure” humans, we are all mongrels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First of all i would like to inform you that its the ear wax that they test and not the bone.

Well, at least we have a sense of humor.

A quick search will come up with many references to the study of DNA in early Japan.

Jomon

https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-020-01162-2

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/555/

Twelve newly sequenced ancient Japanese genomes show that modern day populations do indeed show the genetic signatures of early indigenous Jomon hunter-gatherer-fishers and immigrant Yayoi farmers -- but also add a third genetic component that is linked to the Kofun peoples, whose culture spread in Japan between the 3rd and 7th centuries.

Yayoi.

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/asj/127/1/127_1904231/_article/-char/en

Based on a morphological study, these individuals were descendants of the indigenous Jomon people rather than of the immigrant Yayoi people. However, as a result of DNA analysis using the next-generation sequencer, it was revealed that these individuals have the genome of both Jomon and immigrant Yayoi people. These human bones belong to the end of the Yayoi period.

Nara (Kofun period)

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/japanese-ancestors-came-from-three-ancient-groups-180978725/

The new findings, published in the journal Science Advances, show that a third group arrived during the Kofun period (around 300 to 700 C.E.), confirming a theory that some researchers had already raised.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is also very ‘common’ for burial chambers to be opened too.

it is both common and uncommon, you say. How can that be?

This is the 21st century not the 18th where we have have robots and camera miniaturization so that tomb interiors can be viewed in detail.

That all requires breaking the tomb open and putting little warm machines inside that's will surely change the temperature/ humidity never mind introduce moulds and other containments, and cause damage by changing the preserved environs.

There aren’t many excuses not to investigate….

I can think of one; begins with m, ends with y. And another is lack of qualified people to do the task with the scientific rigger necessary.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Elvis is here

It is also very ‘common’ for burial chambers to be opened too.

This is the 21st century not the 18th where we have have robots and camera miniaturization so that tomb interiors can be viewed in detail.

Also, there is Ground-penetrating radar which can give a detailed image of areas to be excavated so that damage can be limited.

There aren’t many excuses not to investigate….

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bears Chinese inscriptions

Ahhh and?

You do realize that Chinese inscriptions are "Kanji" and it was not unusual for "Chinese" ( good guess as to which language that is referring to in which period) was used as decoration or honorifics for centuries.

Means nothing.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why, for such a curious people haven’t the Japanese authorities opened up the kofun in Sakai?

Are they afraid of what lies beneath the earth?

The unopening of old tombs in China and Japan is quite common. They don't want to spoil them so they are waiting until they are sure they have the best resources and technology at their disposal to preserve the tombs contents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lamination doesn't do this, and doesn't create that distinct pattern either. Lamination of steel is endemic to Japan. Also, a sabre is a type of sword. So yes: Japanese do make swords.

Indeed. Gassan swords 月山 can have a pattern similar to Damascus but they are achieved by different techniques.

Has A. Gaijin ever seen Japanese sword, never mind a Gassan one?

For Winters San, check the links I have provided above, you can see the sword and its waviness as well as the mirror. I've always liked those old ancient mirrors. The metal goes a lovely colour. The Nezu museum in Aoyama has a great permanent display of ancient Chinese bronze ware. The mirrors are great.

I'm also keen on kagamishi tsuba too, of which I have seen and own many.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Moonraker a "meandering" blade is also described as a flame-bladed sword, a flamberge, a wavy-bladed sword, and a few other names I believe. Basically the blade has a wavy pattern to its shape. It's fairly common for swords of this type to be ceremonial, as the shape is tricky to forge, so it's a sign of skill from the swordsmith.

I'd be interested to see pictures of this sword (and the mirror too, of course). I'm always fascinated by these kinds of archaeological finds, and a ceremonial sword well over 2 metres in length is certainly intriguing, especially given the time period and material used.

@Awa no Gaijin: Damascus Steel (proper name Pattern-welded steel) is not the same as what Japanese blacksmiths have used for centuries. They use steel Lamination. Pattern-welded steel mixes two or more different steels into one single bar, which is then forged into a blade that possesses distinct patterning (hence the name). Lamination doesn't do this, and doesn't create that distinct pattern either. Lamination of steel is endemic to Japan. Also, a sabre is a type of sword. So yes: Japanese do make swords.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why, for such a curious people haven’t the Japanese authorities opened up the kofun in Sakai?

Are they afraid of what lies beneath the earth?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I was able to visit my first kofun site in Nagano this past summer. Why are DNA analysis of the remans never published? It's like the Japanese are afraid to admit that the influx of Mainlanders from Korea (and possibly China) during this period truly kickstarted the development of civilization in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There was also discovered a couple of western-looking haniwa statues at these mounds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This was a time of lots of Korean and Chinese migration, so the objects probably have roots to those countries.

There is an interesting hypothesis that horse-riding Scythians or Huns who couldn't penetrate China's Great Wall decided to come to Japan instead and built lots of kurgans. This is also why you won't find these kurgan mounds in China. Some people also think Jews mad their way to Japan along the Silk road and introduced all kinds of shinto rituals that you won't find in either China or Korea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Quick, send a fax to Unesco!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

From the article:

The sword is the oldest of dako swords distinguished by their wavy, snake-like shapes, from which their name is derived.

https://www.heritagedaily.com/2023/01/giant-2-3-metre-long-dakoken-sword-among-unprecedented-discoveries-in-burial-mound/146053

https://www.asahi.com/sp/ajw/articles/photo/45192466

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Having seen a picture of the discovery I can’t see why they describe it as a wandering sword.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Grave robbery.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What is a meandering blade?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese scientists are reluctant to test the ancestral DNA of the kofun

No, that is not true. Because of the volcanic/acidic soil in Japan, bones and other organic materials dissipate almost completely.

That is why there is still so much mystery about the Jomon, Yayoi and early Yamato people.

Scientists have almost no bone to test for DNA from those early periods.

If fact, scientists would love to get their hands on that type of remains.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Urbanisation and early social and cultural customs of Japan are well documented and generally credited to China and migration through the Korean Peninsula and the Ryukyu islands

It seems the specialists believe the items were made in Japan. The shape of the mirror is not the typical round shape so was probably made locally by someone very skilled with plenty of time and resources The folding metal technique of Japan swords is indigenous to this fair nation.

Finally, The above ideas are not original to me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This was a time of lots of Korean and Chinese migration, so the objects probably have roots to those countries.

For example, the Inariyama Sword from this era and also found in such a tomb bears Chinese inscriptions and its metal was found to come from Jiangnan.

And??..

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

This was a time of lots of Korean and Chinese migration, so the objects probably have roots to those countries.

For example, the Inariyama Sword from this era and also found in such a tomb bears Chinese inscriptions and its metal was found to come from Jiangnan.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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