Sixth-century tomb in Nara hints at pyramid shape
A large rectangular tomb in the village of Asuka in Nara Prefecture, may have been built in a rare pyramid shape, archaeologists say.
The Miyakozuka tomb is believed to have been built in the latter half of the sixth century. It was likely a terraced pyramid made of multiple stone layers, experts at the municipal education board and Kansai University’s Archaeological Research Institute said Wednesday.
The tomb may have been influenced by ancient tumuli built near the border between China and North Korea, given the similar structure, the experts said.
It is thought that Soga no Iname, a Yamato Dynasty leader who died in 570, was buried in the tomb. He is known to have close links with the people who migrated to Japan from China and the Korean Peninsula.
After excavating the mound and areas surrounding Miyakozuka tomb, the group of archaeologists found stairlike architectural remains at three locations.
Four layers of stones were found at one of the three locations and one layer was discovered at each of the two other locations.
Based on the findings, the group said it believes that the tomb had a pyramidlike structure with seven or eight stone layers.