National TreasureRitual objects used in consecration of the building site of the Central Golden Hall, Kōfuku-ji

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  • 興福寺金堂鎮壇具
  • Discovered beneath the altar of the Golden Hall at Kōfuku-ji Temple, Nara
  • Nara period/8th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • E-4303ほか

These items were unearthed from below the foundation of the altar of the Golden Hall at Kôfuku-ji Temple in Nara in 1874. They were buried there to pacify the gods of the earth at the time the temple was built. More than thirty types of objects and 1,400 individual items were found. Votive objects buried at temples before the Nara period (710-794) have been discovered at other sites such as the pagoda at Kawara-dera Temple and the Great Buddha Hall of Tôdai-ji Temple in Nara, but not in such great variety or number. Among the discoveries were utensils such as brass and silver bowls, platters, spoons, and mirrors; metallic materials such as gold ingots, gold dust and hammered gold; and semi-precious stones including crystal, amber and agate.

Additional items including silver bowls and beads were discovered within the foundation of the altar in 1884, but these remain in the possession of Kôfuku-ji.