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South Area 30

Shimoshinjo Arachi Sites

Structural Sites
Shimoshinjo Arachi Sites
South Area 30

The Shimoshinjo Tanakada Sites were excavated in 1994. The excavation uncovered three tateana (pit-type) dwellings and four homes with posts dug into the ground. However, the excavated area was the outer edge of the settlement, and the center of the settlement is thought to have been around Shinjo 5-chome. The tateana (pit-type) dwellings were built in the 8th century, and the homes with posts dug into the ground were built after that. These sites were the ordinary settlements formed around the Shimoshinjo Arachi Sites, which played a role as the center of politics.
The Shimoshinjo Arachi Sites (18,350 m2) were excavated between 1991 and 1996. These are large settlements dating from the beginning of the 8th century to the end of the 9th century. They varied significantly from small-size settlements.
The settlements included 48 tateana (pit-type) dwellings and 54 homes with posts dug into the ground. They also had one large building with 10 smaller buildings and five storage spaces attached to it. This shows that housing style shifted in the late 8th century from tateana (pit-type) dwellings to homes with posts dug into the ground.
Uncovered in these sites were round inkstones and Buddhist religious objects that are often unearthed from the former sites of administrative offices and temples. Inkstones show that there were people who wrote on strips of wood, and Buddhist religious objects show that Buddhism was passed down in the area.
In addition, because Buddhist religious objects were also unearthed from the long, large site of a home with posts dug into the ground at the Kambayashi Shinjo Sites, it is thought that this building must have been associated with Buddhism. Therefore, the Kambayashi Shinjo Sites are thought to have been a part of the Shimoshinjo Arachi Sites.
The large building that cannot be seen in the surrounding sites and the unearthed artifacts around them show that this must have been where the head of the area lived. However, the area rapidly deteriorated in and after the late 9th century. This is probably because the settlements were reorganized along with the changes of administrative structure.