Archaeologists claim discovery of Jap queen Himiko’s final resting place

June 1st, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, June 1 (ANI): A team of archaeologists, using radiocarbon dating, have determined that an ancient tomb, constructed in traditional keyhole style denoting someone of very high rank, may well be the final resting place of Himiko, the legendary third-century queen of the Yamatai kingdom in Japan.

According to a report in the Asahi Shimbun, artifacts from near the earthen mound in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, were examined by researchers attached to the National Museum of Japanese History (Rekihaku) in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture.

Using radiocarbon dating, they studied clay fragments from the rim of the mound and found that they were made between 240 and 260 AD.

Himiko, according to Chinese records, died around 250 AD.

The archaeologists determined that the tomb very likely could have been built for Himiko.

The discovery will also likely ignite further debate on the location of the Yamatai kingdom, which some say was in Kyushu and others believe was centered around Nara, an ancient capital.

An early Chinese book, “The Wei Zhi: Account of the Wa People,” chronicles tributary relations between Himiko and the Cao Wei kingdom during the late second to early third century.

Himiko is recorded as having dispatched a diplomatic mission to Wei in 239 AD.

The delegation was said to have received 100 sacred copper mirrors and other gifts from the Chinese dynasty.

Hashihaka, a 280-meter key-hole shaped tree-encrusted mound, is much larger than other ancient tombs built before or at the same time in Japan.

The nearest one in size measures just 110 meters in length.

Some scholars believe Hashihaka matches ancient Chinese descriptions of Himiko’s tomb.

Until recently, many archaeologists had theorized that the Hashihaka mound was constructed in the fourth century.

However, an analysis of artifacts unearthed near the site led researchers in recent years to conclude the tomb was constructed in the late third century, and thus, it could be Himiko’s. (ANI)

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