Important Cultural PropertyLong thin strip-shaped object

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  • Kofun period/5th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-37189

Niizawa Senzuka Kofun No. 126 is one of the 590 burial mounds situated at Ochioka Hill in the southern Nara basin, in a rectangular shape measuring 16 m in a north-south direction and 22 m east-west, mainly housing a timber coffin made from a carved out solid timber log. A large number of burial items have also been unearthed within and outside the coffin. Near the head of the coffin, items such as lacquered ware, ancient bronze irons and single-edged iron swords were found outside the coffin. Inside the coffin, bronze mirrors, gold rectangular plates, gold pendant earrings and gold spiral shape pendent decorations have been found. The golden plates with carved dragon motifs are thought to be decorations for hats. The earrings are luxurious with three strings of pendants; the gold spiral-shape pendent decorations have carved golden lines spiraling up the pendants and are thought to be ornamental hairpins.
Glass bowl placed on top of glass dish was retrieved from the right side of the head of the deceased. Made from alkali glass, the glass bowl has a light yellow green color with a thickness of 1.5 mm and is extremely light in weight. The base of the bowl has two layers of circular motifs inscribed and five layers of motifs around its waist. The glass dish is also made from alkali glass and appears deep blue in color. It is thought that images such as birds, trees, people, horses and flower petals were drawn inside the dish. While it is possible that something has been drawn on the outside of the dish, the details are unknown. It is unclear where these bowl and dish were produced, but based on the markings it is believed that they were made in the Sassanid Persian Empire.
Gold and bronze wares are lined up around the waist of the deceased, while gold and silver bracelets or rings as well as jade have been found around the hands. While rings are rarely found as burial items, this pair of golden rings is of exquisite craftsmanship.
A large number of golden ornamental hairpins and glass beads are scattered over a wide area around the center of the body. It is quite possible that they were attached to the clothes, or the shrouds wrapping the body.
With such a large number of exquisite gold and bronze ornaments as well as glass bowl and dish of such reach cultural flavor unearthed from this burial mound, it can be presumed that the person buried here was a foreigner.