The main attraction of this room is a set of scale-models showing the stages leading from the abandonment of the Nara Capital in 784, through the archaeological excavations, to the reconstructions of the Palace Site. The scale-models were made in 1987 and envisioned the process at the drainage channel found near where the Excavation Site Exhibition Hall now stands.
Government Office Reconstruction Display Room
A scale-model of the Former Imperial Audience Hall Compound and a life-size replica envisioning a government office's interiors are on display here. The scale-model was made in 1996 and slightly differs from our current understanding of the building. If you compare the scale-model to the actual reconstructions, you can see for yourself how archaeological interpretations evolved over time.
Palace Reconstruction Display Room
You can gain a glimpse inside the Royal Residence in this room. The exhibition room is divided into four sections: the bedroom, the study, the living room, and the dining space. Each section is filled with replicas and reconstructions based on examples from the Shōsōin Repository.
Artifacts Display Room
Artifacts are thematically divided into three sections here: "Life in the Capital," "Charms and Spells," and "International Exchange." Various objects, ranging from kitchenware, through effigies, to imported pottery, showcase the multi-faceted life in the capital.
Here we present a sneak-peek into four of our labs: the Wooden Tablets Laboratory, the Wooden/Metal Tool Laboratory, the Pottery Laboratory, and the Roof Tile Laboratory. Besides the artifacts and explanations on display, each lab has a blackboard set up where researchers post their latest findings. There is also a display in the corner titled "NABUNKEN Topics" where more general research results of our Institute are posted.
Archaeological Science Corner
Here we exhibit some of the research conducted at our Institution that lean more toward the natural sciences. The display is split into four sections following the divisions of the Center for Archaeological Operations' laboratories: conservation science, environmental archaeology, dendrochronology, and field surveys.
Model Display Corner
There are four scale-models on display here. One of them is a 1:10 cm scale reconstruction of the imperial throne based on several sources, including the throne of Emperor Showa, historical documents, and objects from the Shōsōin Repository and Hōryūji. The other three form a set that reconstructs the three phases of the building that originally functioned as the Eastern State Assembly Hall but was later repurposed as the lecture hall of Tōshōdaiji. Another interesting aspect of this set is that inside you can see little carved figurines of court officials made in the local ittōbori style.
Other notable features of the permanent exhibition
As of spring 2021, we have started airing two brand-new videos based on our latest research results: "Nara, the center of politics," and "The Layout of the Nara Capital." We have also translated most of our text into English, Chinese, and Korean so more of our visitors can enjoy our exhibition to its full extent.