Monograph No. 54











Main Volume (Text)




Chapter I Introduction  1

1. Progress of excavations at the Nara Capital  1

2. Publication of this report  3


Chapter II Outline of the excavations  5

 1. Progress of the excavations  5

 2. Excavated areas  9

 A. Location and environs  9

 B. Division into sectors and surveying  15

 3. Outline of each excavation  17

 A. Excavation no. 178  17

 B. Excavation no. 184  18

 C. Excavation no. 186 (North, North II, Supplementary Sectors)   19

 D. Excavation no. 186 (West, West II Sectors)   20

 E. Excavation no. 190  20

 F. Excavation no. 193 (A, D Sectors)  21

 G. Excavation no. 193 (B, C, E, F, B-supplementary Sectors)  21

 H. Excavation no. 195 (North, South Sectors)   22

 I. Excavation no. 197  22

 J . Excavation no. 198 (A, B, C Sectors)  23

 K. Excavation no. 200 (Main and Supplementary Sectors)   24

 L. Excavation no. 204  24

 4. Excavation logs  26

 A. Excavation no. 178  26

 B. Excavation no. 184  30

 C. Excavation no. 186 (North, North II, Supplementary Sectors)   34

 D. Excavation no. 186 (West, West II Sectors)  35

 E. Excavation no. 190  38

 F. Excavation no. 193 (A, D Sectors)  40

 G. Excavation no. 193 (B, C, E, F, B-supplementary Sectors)  42

 H. Excavation no. 195 (North, South Sectors)  46

 I.Excavation no. 197  47

 J. Excavation no. 198 (A, B, C Sectors)  48

 K. Excavation no. 200 (Main and Supplementary Sectors)  52

 L. Excavation no. 204   53


Chapter III Site description   55

 1. General overview   55

 A. Natural topography and landscaping prior to construction of Nara Capital   55

 B. Stratigraphy and relative chronology of archaeological features   59

 2. Features of city street plan   71

 A. Second Street   71

 B. East Second Intra-ward avenue   74

 C. Block boundary streets   75

 3. Features of Blocks 1, 2, 7, and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street   76

 A. Introduction   76

 B. Phase A   79

 C. Phase B   87

 D. Phase C   90

 E. Phase D   94

 F. Phase E   99

 G. Phase F   103

 H. Phase G   107

 I. Features of indeterminate age   108

 J. Features antedating the Nara Capital  121

 4. Features of Block 5 of East Second Ward on Second Street   123

 A. Chronological divisions   123

 B. Phase a   123

 C. Phase b   124

 D. Phase c   124

 E. Phase d   125

 F. Phase e   126

 G. Phase f   128

 H. Phase g   129


Chapter IV Artifacts   131

 1. Mokkan   131

 A. Features yielding mokkan   131

 B. Mokkan from Prince Nagaya’s Mansion   137

 C. Mokkan from Second Street   144

 2. Roof tiles and bricks   159

 A. Round eave tiles   159

 B. Flat eave tiles   181

 C. Glazed tiles   199

 D. Round and flat tiles   200

 E. Constructional tiles (other than round, flat, and eave tiles) and reutilized tiles   206

 F. Roof tiles with written or stamped characters   208

 3. Pottery   209

 A. From Ditch SD 4750, plus clay objects from same   210

 B. From wells of Phases A and B   216

 C. From Ditch SD 5100, plus clay objects from same   219

 D. From Ditches SD 5300 and SD 5310   249

 E. From gutter lining north side of Second Street   259

 F. From gutters of intra-ward street of East Second Column   261

 G. From gutters of block boundary streets   261

 H. From wells of Phase C and later    263

 I. T’ang and Nara three-colored (glazed) pottery   278

 J. Pottery with ink-drawn human faces   278

 K. Pottery with ink or etched inscriptions, and stamped pottery   279

 L. Clay objects  280

 4. Wooden implements  290

 A. From Ditch SD 4750   290

 B. From gutter lining west side of intra-ward street of East Second Column  298

 C. From Ditch SD 5100   305

 D. From Ditch SD 5300   324

 E. From Ditch SD 5310   333

 F. From gutter lining north side of Second Street   334

 G. From wells  334

 H. From pits and post holes  338

 5. Coins  341

 6. Metal, glass, and stone objects   344

 A. Metal objects   344

 B. Clay and glass objects, slag   351

 C. Worked stone objects   355

 7. Floral and faunal remains  358


Chapter V Interpretations  363

 1. Mokkan   363

 A. Residents of Prince Nagaya’s Mansion and its household management   363

 B. Second Street cache of mokkan and the issue of the Empress’s palace   408

 2. Roof tiles and bricks   455

 A. Problems presented by the tiles used at Prince Nagaya’s Mansion   455

 B. Chronological assessment of roof tile Types 6282-6721   461

 C. Utilization of tiles as seen from chronological divisions and distributions of round eave tiles   467

 3. Pottery   481

 A. Sub-divisions of the Nara Palace typology   481

 B. Pottery from Prince Nagaya’s Mansion   486

 C. Special characteristics of the pottery assemblage from the wood scrap layer of Ditch SD 5100   492

 4. Reconstruction of the city street grid and its relation to building placement   497

 A. Reconstruction of the city street grid   497

 B. Relation of building locations and the city street grid   501

 5. Evolution and architectural characteristics of structural features   508

 A. Introduction   508

 B. Changes in Blocks 1, 2, 7, and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street   508

 C. Changes in Block 5 of East Second Ward on Second Street  520

 D. Architectural characteristics of Prince Nagaya’s Mansion   521

 6. Characteristics of Hearth SX 4495   525

 7. Conclusion   529


Supplementary Discussion

 1 Site preservation and ground surface level marking   536

 2 The “Model of Prince Nagaya’s Mansion,” built in Fiscal Year 1990   537

 3 Macroscopic plant remains from Ditches SD4750, SD 5100, SD5300, and SD5310  543

 4 Pollen and parasite analysis of gutters lining Second Street and intra-ward streets of East Second Ward Column, and Ditches SD 5100 and SD 5300   553

 5 Dendrochronology of lumber and a votive horse effigy   565

 6 “Sluice edifice” archaeological feature from Block 5 of East Second Ward on Second Street   567

 7 Insect remains from Ditches SD 5100 and SD 5300, located on Second Street   571

 8 Faunal remains from East Second Ward on Second Street and East Second Ward on Third Street   573

 9 Composition of bronze items and materials used in bronze casting   577

 Supplementary Tables   579

 English Table of Contents   625

 English Summary   644

 Transcriptions of inscriptions on selected mokkan   (back matter)



 Prince Nagaya’s Mansion and the Nara Palace Site (aerial photograph, from the southeast)



 1 Biographical chronology of Prince Nagaya   580

 2 Biographical chronology of Fujiwara Maro   582

 3 Principal buildings   583

 4 Wells   588

 5 Index of structural features   589

 6 Aerial photographs   593

 7 Numbers of round eave tiles recovered   594

 8 Numbers of flat eave tiles recovered   596

 9 Provenances of round tiles   598

 10 Provenances of flat tiles   599

 11 Provenances of bricks   600

 12 Provenances of ridge-end tiles and glazed tiles   601

 13 Distribution of Haji ware from Ditch SD 5100, by ceramic style   602

 14 Distribution of Sue ware from DitchSD5100, by ceramic style  603

 15 Ink inscribed pottery from Ditch SD 5100   604

 16 Distribution of Haji ware from Ditches SD 5300 and SD 5310, by ceramic style   608

 17 Distribution of Haji ware from Ditches SD 5300 andSD5310, by ceramic style   609

 18 Ink inscribed pottery recovered from within East Second Ward and other locales  610

 19 Incised and stamped pottery recovered from within East Second Ward and other locales   614

 20 Ceramic typology   615

 21 Numbers of wooden implements recovered, by structural feature   616

 22 Numbers of wooden implements recovered from wells   617




 The results of the excavations in Blocks 1, 2, 7, and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street, and in Block 5, East Second Ward on Second Street, are summarized as follows, with remarks on issues that remain for future research.




i Reconstruction of the city street grid


 Second Street, East Second Intra-ward Avenue, West Block-boundary Avenue and North Block-boundary Street of East Second Ward on Third Street, were all inspected over a span of 150 meters or more.


 Second Street: Judging from the manner in which they intersect with the western gutter of East Second Intra-ward Avenue, major reconstruction of the northern and southern gutters of Second Street was undertaken on three occasions. The average width of Second Street was measured as 36.4 m, the range of the center-to-center distance between the two gutters as 39.8-40.6 m, the range of the northern gutter width as approximately 3-7 m, and that of the southern gutter as 1.3-2.3 m. Along the southern boundary of Nara Palace, the dimensions of Second Street have been reconstructed as 105 taishaku (大尺, long-scale shaku, or approximately 35.5 cm), with the ratio of the distance from the city street grid axis to the centers of the northern and southern gutters as 1 :2 (35 : 70 taishaku). From a comparison of the results of this excavation with the southern boundary of Nara Palace and the southern side of Block 12, East Second Ward on Second Street, differences were found in road and gutter width, but the outer sides of the gutters were found to extend in almost a straight line. From this it was observed that the roads were planned on the basis of center-to-center measurements of the gutters, and that alterations in gutter width were made by changing the position of inner side of the gutter, leaving the outer side unchanged. The compass orientation of Second Street was found to veer 11’28” north of true east, a value close to the deviation observed thus far for the Nara city street grid.


 East Second Intra-ward Avenue: The western gutter of this avenue alongside Block 5, East Second Ward on Second Street was in existence throughout the Nara period, but alongside Blocks 7 and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street it was filled in during the latter half of the period (Phase E). Gutter width ranged between 2 and 3 m. Partial detection of the eastern gutter enables an estimation of its width at 7.5 in, supporting the supposition that it functioned to re-channel the old course of the Komo river. Drawing on the findings of Excavation no. 83 to the east (East Block-boundary Avenue, East Second Ward), the width of East Second Intra-ward Avenue can be reconstructed as 30 taishaku (10.6 m) from center-to-center of its east and west gutters, and the width of the road surface as 16 taishaku (5.7 m). Compass orientation veers 12’56” west of true north.


 Block-boundary roads: Two block-boundary roads, North Block-boundary Street and West Block-boundary Avenue, separating Blocks 1, 2, 7 and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street, were constructed in essentially the same positions in Phases D and F, although the portion of North Block-boundary Street between Blocks 1 and 2 was built only in Phase F. The width of West Block-boundary Avenue was approximately 7.1 m from center-to-center of its east and west gutters, and the compass divergence was 16’ 18” west of true north; North Block-boundary street measured approximately6m from gutter center to gutter center, with a compass divergence of 8’ 15” north of true east. The axes of both roads were accurately located at points one-quarter of the way inward from the grid boundaries of Second Ward on Third Street.



ii Changes in Blocks 1, 2, 7 and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street

 The sequence of changes in archaeological features detected in Blocks 1, 2, 7 and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street divide chronologically into seven phases, labeled A-G. From the artifacts recovered for each phase, the absolute dates are set as follows : Phase A covers the period from the construction of the capital through the Yoro era (710 to ca 720); Phase B extends to the beginning of the Tempyo era (ca 720 to 729); Phase C to the relocation of the capital (729 to ca 745); Phase D to around the second year of the Tempyo Shoho era (ca 745 to ca 750); Phase E up until the Hold era (ca 750 through the 760s); Phase F until near the end of the Nara period (roughly covering the 770s); Phase G covers the final years of the Nara and the beginning of the Heian periods.


 During Phases A and B, Blocks 1, 2, 7 and 8 were held singly and occupied by Prince Nagaya, Imperial Princess Kibi, and their children, as established primarily from the mokkan, inscribed wooden tablets, recovered from Well SE 4770 and Ditch SD 4750 in the eastern part of the estate. It had been suggested, based on the likelihood that a meandering stream-like feature (Ditch SD 4150) continues into Block 6, that a six-block area (Blocks 1-3, and 6-8) formed a single estate (see p.13 of the text), but from the strong possibility that a rain gutter (for catching the runoff from a roofed wall or building) was in continual existence along the northern boundary of Block 6 for nearly all of the Nara period, and from the close association of the roof tiles from Block 6 with the Fujiwara clan, Blocks 3 and 6 appear rather to form part of a separate four-block estate.


 A large precinct in the center of the southern portion of the estate was enclosed by an embedded-pillar fence, and subdivided internally in similar fashion into three sectors arranged from east to west, each containing a group of large buildings. Serving as the center of daily life, this precinct measured more that 135 m east to west, and 115m north to south, during Phase A. The Central and Western Sectors both had main and secondary halls, placed in the shape of an inverted L, during Phases A and B, but the building arrangement of the Eastern Sector changed greatly from Phase A to B and is not easily considered a place for permanent residence. It has been inferred from the wooden tablets associated with Prince Nagaya’s Mansion that the residence of the Prince’s consorts and children was known as the Western Mansion (西宮), which is considered to be the Western Sector. The Central Sector is the largest, with an east to west width of 77 m, and at 360 ㎡ in surface area its main hall (SB 4500) is on the largest scale known in the capital outside the palace. SB 4500 is a gabled building with its roof extended the width of an extra bay beyond the building core on the two sides of the building that parallel the gable. It also has the unusual characteristics of a core width of three bays transverse to the gable, and a wider than normal bay on each end of the building along the gable axis. This style of building plan is unknown to date except for the central structure SB 4700 of the Imperial Residence, and differs in nature from buildings typical of aristocratic estates. Accordingly it is thought that Prince Nagaya resided in the Central Sector. The Eastern Sector is presumed to have been used for rituals and entertaining guests (in Phase B the twin buildings SB 4300 and 4301 were added, improving the facilities). To the east lies the remains of a garden pond incorporating the meandering stream SD 4150 and another feature, SD 4149; in Phase B part of the fence between the garden and the eastern sector was removed, linking the two areas more closely and supporting the above inference about the nature of the Eastern Sector’s use.


 The area to the north of the central precinct was divided by pillared fences into two or three broad sectors (Outer West, Outer North, and Outer East). The area between the Outer West and Outer North Sectors was a passageway, on whose north end stands a simple roofed gate opening onto Second Street. Maintaining a gate on a major street was specified in an entry in the Shoku Nihongi for the second day, ninth month, of 731 AD as limited to holders of the third rank or higher; this is the first instance of confirmation of this practice with archaeological evidence.


 Based on the mokkan from Prince Nagaya's Mansion, recovered from Ditch SD 4750 and Well SE 4770 located in the eastern portion of the estate, it is evident that there was an office located on the estate grounds known as the Prince Nagaya Household Administration Headquarters (家令所) (also referred to as the Nara no miyako no musho 奈良宮務所, or simply as mandokoro 政所), under which the Housekeeping and Supply Office, the Kitchen Supplies Office, the Sake Brewing Office, the Sewing Office, the Dyeing Office, and other offices dealing with various aspects of daily life were established, where a great variety of workers and slaves were active.


 Of the three Outer Sectors uncovered in this excavation, it is easy to conjecture that the East Outer Sector, in which Ditch SD 4750 and Well SE 4770 were located, contained the Household Administration Office, but as uninvestigated areas of this sector are extensive, the layout of buildings remains unclear. While the investigations of the other two outer sectors are also insufficient, from the presence of a building (SB 4960) containing a large number of jars in the North Outer Sector, and from a building in the West Outer Sector divided with multiple internal divisions in the manner of an office or dormitory, both sectors are presumed to have housed offices involved with household affairs.


 Phase C closely followed the estate boundaries, internal divisions, and building placement of the preceding phase. From an analysis of the Second Street cache of mokkan found in moat-like ditches dug into the road surface of Second Street (SD 5100, SD 5300, and SD 5310), the possibility that Blocks 1, 2, 7 and 8 were given over to the Empress's Mansion is believed very high. Ditches SD 5100, SD 5300, and SD 5310 are in the form of ditches, but lack inlets or outlets for water flow. They may be regarded as facilities for defensive or fire prevention purposes, but in the end it appears that they were used for disposal of mokkan, pottery, and other materials. At this time there stood a building on the Second Street road surface near East First Avenue, and another structure across from the gate to Block 5 of East Second Ward on Second. Street. From mokkan inscriptions these facilities are understood to be related to the Headquarters of the Empress’s Palace Guards and other offices involved in protecting her Palace.


 Buildings of the Central Sector were completely rebuilt during this phase. The main hall (SB 4600) was built on the same scale as Prince Nagaya’s residence. The pillared fence that lined the eastern perimeter of the estate was replaced with a roofed earthen wall, having a single central gate.


 Phase D saw a re-division of the estate and the construction of block-boundary roads. Blocks 1 and 2 remained a single unit, with a cluster of buildings in the southern part serving as the center of daily activity (although it is unclear whether this was part of a government office or an aristocratic estate). Roads and ditches were used to divide Blocks 7 and 8 into smaller precincts. An estate (approximately 70 m square) on the northwestern part of Block 7 had a smaller sector, about 18m on each side, marked off on its southwestern edge with double ditches. No archaeological features were found inside, and the sector’s nature is unclear. Perhaps a building stood on foundation stones that were subsequently removed, or it may be that the area was simply used as an open space; reexamination of this problem must wait until similar examples are found elsewhere.


 In Phase E the block-boundary roads were abolished, and the four Blocks were again held as a single unit. In contrast with Phases A through C, internal spaces were defined but vaguely by means of three L-shaped fences, with arrangements of buildings in each area showing some degree of planning. Of these, the large-scale buildings in the Block 2 area form an inverted L shape, and were probably the focal point of daily activity. It is difficult to determine with certainty whether these features were part of a government office or an aristocratic estate, but they lack coherence if regarded as the former.


 Phases F and G witnessed the re-establishment of block-boundary roads and the division of the estate into separate areas. Blocks 1 and 2 were each held singly, but Blocks 7 and 8 were both subdivided into smaller sectors. Four buildings were arranged in the central region of Block 1, and three long and narrow buildings stood on the eastern and southern edges. From a mokkan from Well SE 4885 bearing the characters 地子米 (jishimai) associated with the State Council, from ink-inscribed pottery from Well SE 5140 and other provenances bearing the characters for “Department” 官 and “Department Kitchen” 官厨, and from the near equivalence in location to the State Council Kitchen 太政官厨家 at the Nagaoka Capital, the possibility that this estate is associated with that agency is high. The extremely long buildings on the perimeter of the estate are probably storehouses. Comparatively large buildings, arranged in L-shape in the eastern central portion of Block 2, were the center of daily activity in that block. It is possible that the major buildings in Blocks 1 and 2 were torn down in Phase G.



iii Changes in Block 5 of East Second Ward on Second Street

 Although the area of the investigation is small, and the results fragmentary, changes divide into seven phases (labeled a-g) that nearly parallel the sequence for Blocks 1, 2, 7 and 8 of East Second Ward on Third Street. The situation for Phase a is unclear, but from Phase b onward an area of an entire block or more was held as a single estate.


 Very few buildings belonging to Phases a through c were discovered. In Phases b and c a simple roofed gate opened from the southern side of the estate onto Second Street. Moat-like features, Ditches SD 5300 and SD 5310, were dug in Phase c on the north side of Second Street, in complement to a similar feature, Ditch SD 5100, on the south side. From an analysis of the mokkan discarded in the northern ditches, and in the central portion of the southern one, just opposite the gate, it is believed that Fujiwara Maro, the youngest of the four Fujiwara brothers who were to rival Prince Nagaya, resided here in Phase c. It is possible that a structure, Building SB 5390, having an extended roof on its northern side and a gable length estimated at seven bays, is the main residence.


 The southern gate was enlarged in Phases d and e into Building SB 5320, possibly a four pillared gate. Within the estate, in Phase d the southeastern portion was partitioned with a pillared fence, and in Phase e with a cloister-like structure (Building SB 5290) that separated northern and southern sectors. As cloistered structures located within an estate in the capital are known from Block 12, adjacent to the east, assumed to have been a detached palace, and from Block 12 of East Second Ward on Second Street, thought to have been the estate of Prince Ichihara, the possibility that the investigated site was an ordinary government office is low. The above mentioned site on Block 12 is considered by some to be the Nashihara Palace 梨原宮 that was in existence south of the Nara Palace in 749, but the discovery near the southern gate on Block 5 of a mokkan reading “Ato no sakanushi” 阿刀酒主 indicates the possibility that this block, or perhaps the larger Toin Nanpo Site containing Block 5 together with Blocks 3, 4, and 6, may have been the Nashihara Palace (Chapter 5, Part 1 B, pp. 453-454). The existence on the eastern rim of the estate of a structure (SX 5034 and SX 5034) now referred to as the “Sluice Edifice” (a running-water toilet), which drew water from the western gutter of East Second Intra-ward Avenue, sometime during either Phase d or Phase e, has been established with near certainly from the analysis of the associated features and of the eggs of parasitic insects. This is the first such discovery at the Nara capital.


 In Phase f the gate was rebuilt as a simple roofed gate, a structure (Building SB 5250) with a gable running north-south was erected on the eastern perimeter of the block, and a main hall and a rear hall, estimated as five bays long, were lined up with central axes running parallel. Building SB 5250, the longest structure known from the capital, and was most likely a government office or some other kind of public facility. In Phase g the southern gate was closed off, and buildings of a smaller scale were erected on the estate grounds. Whether these belonged to a government office or private estate is unclear.



iv Reference points for building placement

 Blocks 1, 2, 7and 8, East Second Ward on Third Street: In Phase A, at which time the four blocks were held as a single unit, it is clear that the northern gate and earthen wall, and the fences marking the sectors of the central precinct, were measured from the city street grid lines in taishaku units. On the other hand, the larger buildings within the estate used bays of 9 or 10 shoshaku (小尺, short-scale shaku, approximately 29.6 cm) from pillar to pillar, and the fences internal to the central precinct were also laid out with their pillars on a grid of 9 shoshaku. As a result, it is regarded as highly possible that once the major surveying was completed, the layout of internal buildings and fences was conducted with shoshaku on a 9-shaku grid.


 While building placements of Phases Band C essentially follow that of Phase A. it appears that subsequent building was based on measurements from the existing fences using shoshaku, and normally in 9-shaku modules.


 During Phase D, when the estate was subdivided internally, it is very possible that a grid of 10 shoshaku was used. Of the buildings and fences of Phases E-G, some cases align with 9-shaku and others with 10-shaku grids. The overall number of features is small, and it is difficult to regard an overall plan as having been followed.


 Block 5, East Second Ward on Second Street: Whereas the southern gate of Phase b (SB 5135A) and Phase c (SB 5135B) is accurately located in the middle of the block as measured with taishaku from the city street grid lines, in Phase c the main hall is 160 shaku distant from the gate measured in shoshaku. But in Phase d the center of the southern gate (Building SB 5320) shifts eastward, and is accurately situated at the center of Block 5in terms of its effective size, namely, the distance between the centers of the gutters of the roads bounding the block. As was observed for Blocks 1, 2, 7 and 8 of Second Ward on Second Street, at the time of initial construction of the capital, surveying was conducted in taishaku units from the city street grid lines, but it appears to have been subsequently based on existing walls and ditches. These data may be regarded as showing that the regulation in the Taiho code, specifying the use of taishaku in land surveys, was observed in the capital.


v Features antedating the Nara capital

 Two elite residential districts, surrounded by square moats, were detected below the fill used at the beginning of the Nara period, or in the natural substratum. District A is 38 to 39 m on a side, measured inside the moat, and contains embedded-pillar buildings. This district dates from the latter half of the fifth century, and was possibly used into the sixth century. The compass orientation veers approximately 45 degrees north of true east, roughly matching the direction of the old Komo river course (SD 1560) flowing to the south. District B measures 80 m north-south and 50 to 70 m east-west internally. No artifacts were recovered that could determine the age, but the true north-south orientation suggests the possibility that it postdates the opening of the Shimotsumichi road, placed in the early 7th century, which is also oriented on a true north-south axis.


 Two other elite residential sites from the mid-fifth century or later have been found in the northern part of the Nara basin (the Minami-kidera Site and the Sugawara Higashi Site); with the discovery made in the current investigation the total number of such sites is three. The Minami-kidera Site is regarded as the home base of the Wani clan from the mid fifth through the first half of the sixth centuries,1 and the region containing the current site is possibly within the sphere of Wani influence.2 Clarification of this issue is a problem for future research, but the enlargement of the residential district in conjunction with the opening of the Shimotsumichi suggests that this region held an important position politically, and by extension, served in some form as the foundation for the later move of the capital to Nara.





i Mokkan

 The total of 110,000 items recovered constitute an epoch-making discovery in the history of mokkan research. The two major caches (the more than 35,000 “Prince Nagaya Mansion mokkan” from Ditch SD 4750 within the estate, and the 74,000 “Second Street mokkan” from Ditches SD 5100, SD 5300, and SD 5310) bear dates centering on 716 and 737-738, respectively, and are rich in terms of their contents.


 Prince Nagaya Mansion mokkan: It has now become clear that Prince Nagaya lived on the estate, together with Imperial Princess Kibi, other consorts, and their children. Moreover, the finds have helped clarify the actual state of the various offices and posts of Prince Nagaya’s household administration from the central office level down, the situations of the workers, the locations and management of economic estates and sustenance households, the transport of goods from these holdings and their distribution within and outside of the household.


 The existence of two household staffs can be discerned from the mokkan. One had been granted to Prince Nagaya himself. The other was thought to have been that of Imperial Princess Kibi or Imperial Princess Hidaka, but is now considered to have been the staff of Crown Prince Takechi that was inherited directly by his son Prince Nagaya, and presumed to be based on holdings in Asuka and Fujiwara. It may be inferred, in other words, that the actual household management was assumed by the Nagaya household administrative office, and that the livelihood of Imperial Princess Kibi was also supported by this organization.


 Second Street mokkan: A portion of the mokkan recovered from Ditches SD 5300 and SD 5310, located to the right and left of the southern gate of Block 5 (on the north side of Second Street), and from Ditch SD5100 across from the gate on the southern side of the road, are associated with the household administrative agency of the Minister of Military Affairs Fujiwara Maro, but basically the mokkan in this cache concern the Empress’s Palace of Empress Komyo, and focus on her Palace Guards. The mokkan on the north and south sides of the road were not thrown away separately, but were both used in connection with the administration of the Empress’s Palace, and it is clear from their contents that they could well be called the “Empress’s Palace mokkan” as a whole. Moreover, as mokkan and ink-inscribed pottery associated with the Palace Guards have been recovered from the western gutter of East Second Intra-ward Avenue, doubts are cast on previous theses which held that (1) the Second Street mokkan are associated with the former estate of Prince Nagaya and (2) the lower strata of Hokkeji temple belong to the Empress’s Palace. Rather, it has been inferred that the area south of DitchSD5100 was the Empress’s Palace prior to the capital’s move to Kuni.



ii Tiles and bricks

 Tiles from Prince Nagaya’s Mansion: It is clear that the combination of eave tile Types 6272 and 6644 was the one used at the beginning of the Nara period for Prince Nagaya’s Mansion. It is likely, however, that these tiles were originally made for use in temples, and that their production goes back prior to the Nara period ; the primary candidate for such a temple is Kanzeonji, thought to be located in West First Ward on Ninth Street.


 Eave tiles Types 6282 and 6721: Based on materials recovered from Ditch SD 5100 located on Second Street, which provide a standard for conditions just prior to the move to Kuni, it has been established that tile Types 6282 and 6721 extend back to Phase II-2 of the Nara Palace/Capital typology for eave tiles.


 Tile utilization: Among noteworthy aspects of tile utilization, from the inclusion of triangular-shaped flat eave tiles among the tiles of Types 6272 and 6644 recovered from Prince Nagaya’s Mansion it can be supposed that buildings entirely roofed with tiles were utilized in aristocratic estates from the beginning of the Nara period. Also, the largest number of tiles supplied over the Nara period date from Phase C, the period after Prince Nagaya’s demise; that all of the eave tiles are of styles having duplicates (tiles made with the same mold) used in the Nara Palace shows that the grounds were used for a facility of a public nature. Also, it is clear that eave tiles were not used on the roofed earthen wall facing onto Second Street in the final stage of the period.



iii Pottery

 Pottery from Prince Nagaya’s Mansion : Pottery recovered from Ditch 4750 and from Wells SE 4366 and SE 4770 match the standard materials of Nara Palace Type II; analysis of these ceramics shows the characteristics of pottery used at Prince Nayaga’s Mansion, and also the strong possibility that they were made within the estate by female potters (hajime, 土師女).


 Subdivision of the Nara Palace ceramic typology: Pottery from Ditches SD 5100, SD 5300, and SD 5310 represent the early stage (the Tempyo era years just before and after the move to Kuni) of Phase III of the Nara Palace typology; an analysis of these materials has helped clarify changes in the manufacturing techniques and in vessel shapes over the middle stage (the period of the Shigaraki Palace to just after the return to Nara) and late stage (represented by types from Pit SK 820 from the end of the Tempyo years).


 Characteristics of pottery from Ditch SD 5100: Eating utensils proved to be the most numerous by far, with the conspicuously common Style C Haji ware cup being judged a drinking vessel, the Sue ware bowl A used by nuns and priests, and the Sue ware pot used for water and oil. Also, as many of the vessels were oil lamps, it is conjectured that after Buddhist rites involving the burning of votive lamps, they were disposed of in Ditch 5100 en masse.



iv Other artifacts

 Excluding stick-shaped objects, nearly 5,000 wooden implements were recovered from Ditches SD 4750, SD 4699, SD 5021, SD 5100, SD 5300, SD 5310, and elsewhere. These items are very rich in content. Hollowed out boxes for storing scrolls (texts), wooden belt fittings, a votive horse effigy plaque, a tray decorated with a landscape and pavilion drawn in ink, a lacquered vessel made by rolling very long and narrow material to make the vessel core, and many other extraordinary items were found.


 Other finds include over two hundred coins, 150 metal items (including three copper human effigies, a mirror with a double phoenix and auspicious cloud design, four small undecorated mirrors, a horse bit), one small glass bead plus a mold for small bead manufacture, and one hundred stone tools including items from the Paleolithic period.


 Large amounts of floral remains (seeds, pollen) and faunal materials (bones, parasite eggs) were recovered from Ditches SD 5100, SD 5300, and SD 4699, providing an abundance of data for reconstruction of the diet and living conditions of the time.





 As previous work has clearly indicated, the proportion of estates the size of an entire block or more is particularly high in the vicinity of the current investigation (see Chapter 2, Part 2 A, pp.12-14; Supplementary Plan 2). It may be said with certainty, however, that this marks the first time that aspects of an estate for which the resident’s identity could be established have been clarified through excavation. While the scholarly value of this research is exceedingly great, there are also many questions left unresolved. These may be briefly mentioned as follows.


 Identification of the Empress’s Palace: Based on evidence provided by mokkan recovered from Ditch SD 5100 on Second Street, the estate located on Blocks 1, 2, 7and 8of East Second Ward on Third Street has been identified as the first site of the Empress’s Palace during the middle of the Nara period (Phase C), prior to the move of the capital to Kuni. In that this identification differs from the older view that the Empress maintained her palace on the site of the former estate of Fujiwara Fuhito (which later became Hokkeji Temple) from the very beginning of her reign in 729, the impact of this contribution is great. Based on the architectural reconstruction of features from the lower strata of Hokkeji, which have thus far been detected in part, the location of the Empress’s Palace should become more clear.


 Fujiwara Maro’s estate and the Toin Nanpo Site: The Nara Palace differs from other ancient capital sites in that the palace precinct is not rectangular, but juts out on the northeastern corner (forming the Eastern Precinct, 東院). As one reason for this, it is thought by some that Fujiwara Fuhito, who supervised the Nara Palace construction, created the Eastern Precinct near his home as the residence for Prince Obito (who later became the Emperor Shomu), borne by Fuhito’s own daughter Miyako. As the possibility is also great that Fuhito’s son, Fujiwara Maro, resided in Block 5of East Second Ward on Second Street, it is held by some that in the area to the south of the Eastern Precinct, or the so-called Toin Nanpo Site on Blocks 3 through 6, the office of Capital Secretariat was established to supervise civil affairs, and that later on various field offices of the Military Affairs Ministry was also located there (see The Site of Prince Nagaya’s Mansion in the Nam Capital and Wooden Tablets [the preliminary site report published in 1991], pp.138-139). While it is highly possible that the Toin Nanpo Site is closely linked with the Fujiwara clan, the area excavated thus far is very limited. Accordingly it is hoped that the nature of this site will be clarified by future research.


 Government office or estate?: For relatively large-scale sites uncovered within the Nara


 Capital, it is difficult to decide whether the site was a government office or an aristocratic estate. It has been argued that by classifying the layout of the central buildings into various patterns (such as the shapes of the letter L, the Japanese characters 二 and コ, or a row of geese), that arrangements in the 二 shape may be regarded as residences, and コ shapes as government offices, etc. 3 The current investigation did not lead to the discovery of such a clear-cut standard, however. One outcome was the realization that for large estates, a division was made between residential districts comprised of large-scale buildings and districts for ritualistic purposes. The arrangement of these spaces-with the ritualistic area for entertaining guests to the east, the residence of lord of the estate in the center, and that of other family members to the west - is thought to result from the transposition of the south-to-north movement of the Nara Palace (going from the public areas of the Great Supreme Hall and State Halls Compound, to the Imperial Domicile, then the Inner Palace W£) onto an east-west axis (see p.537). This observation may serve as a key to understanding other aristocratic residences in the Nara Capital.


 Gates opening onto major roads: The northern gate of Prince Nagaya’s Mansion opens onto Second Street; this is the first time that regulation given in the Shoku Nihongi for the second day, ninth month, of 731 AD (limiting the privilege of maintaining a gate on a major street to holders of the third or higher rank or higher) has been documented archaeologically. But it is possible that the roofed southern gate of Block 5, Second Ward on Second Street, antedates Fujiwara Maro’s rise to the third rank in 729. The investigation of Block 16, East First Ward on Sixth Street, was of an estate the size of only a single Block, but two bridges crossing the western gutter of East First Avenue were discovered. 4 No gate as such was found, but it would seem that at least there were openings from the compound facing onto the road. While it may therefore be understood that simple roofed gates were exempt from the regulation, this problem needs to be reexamined after other relevant examples have been found.




 1. Morishita Hiroyuki, “Naraken Nankidera Iseki,” Kokogaku Janaru No. 384,1995, p.22.

 2. Kishi Tosio, “Wani-shi ni okeru kisoteki kosatsu,” Osaka rekishi gakkai, ed., Ritsuryo kokka no kiso kozo, 1960.

 3. Nara Kokuritsu Bunkazai Kenkyujo, Heijokyu sakyo shijo nibo ichitsubo, 1987, pp.45-50.

 4. Nara Kokuritsu Bunkazai Kenkyujo, 1995 nendo heijo kyu gaiho, p.30.


1995年3月30日 発行