r/history • u/marketrent • Jan 26 '23
Longest ‘dako’ iron sword at 2.6m, along with a unique shield-shaped mirror, found in 4th-century Japanese burial mound — Finds indicate that the technology of the Kofun period (300-710 AD) was more advanced than previously thought Articlehttps://english.kyodonews.net/news/2023/01/fa477be76988-natl-treasure-class-mirror-sword-found-in-4th-century-tomb-in-japan.html
u/marketrent Jan 26 '23
The twin findings from the Tomio Maruyama Tumulus last November can be classified as national treasures, experts say, with the discovery of the shield-shaped mirror being the first of its kind.
The shield-shaped mirror is 64 cm in length, 31 cm in width at most, and weighs 5.7 kilograms.
The latest sword has markings of a sheath and handle, and together, its length measures 2.6 meters, more than dominating the last longest dako sword discovered at around 85 cm.
"(These discoveries) indicate that the technology of the Kofun period (300-710 AD) are beyond what had been imagined, and they are masterpieces in metalwork from that period," said Kosaku Okabayashi, the deputy director for Nara Prefecture's Archaeological Institute of Kashihara.
He called their discoveries a breakthrough in the research of the period, named for the "kofun" tomb mounds built for members of the ruling class.
Mirror and shields are considered to be tools to protect the dead from evil spirits. The sword is thought to have been enlarged to increase its power, and the possibility of its use as a battle tool is low, they said.
Riku Murase, 32, who was on the excavation team that discovered the objects, said the sword's length was so astounding that his team initially thought it was several swords. He also thought they had found a unique bronze plate.
"It was my dream to dig up a mirror. Who knew that it would be something so incredible," he said.
The Tomio Maruyama burial mound, the largest in Japan at 109 m in diameter and dating back to the late 4th century, is thought to have belonged to a powerful individual supporting the Yamato rulers of the time.
Kyodo, 25 Jan. 2023.
u/UBrokeMyMeissenPlate Jan 26 '23
The Biggoron sword and mirror shield were my immediate thought first reading the title lol
u/konvonrad Jan 26 '23
Just need to find the hover boots
u/GoldenMonkeyRedux Jan 26 '23
Thanks for posting this. I lived in Nara prefecture for years as a young man. I would pass by kofuns constantly and always wondered about what the interiors held.
u/Redditor_From_Italy Jan 26 '23
I wonder if they are in some way a depiction of the Kusanagi no Tsurugi and Yata no Kagami, the originals of which are supposedly owned by the imperial family
u/Baneken Feb 02 '23
My first thought was a ceremonial or religious importance as well.
It could have been cult item, since the size is really big for a sword and Iron was really expensive back then in Japan -and was in fact until the industrial era. Samurai didn't wear wood & Lacquered leather armor for fashion, you know.
u/n8thegr83008 Jan 26 '23
Looking glass knight?
u/cowsniffer Jan 26 '23
He'll summon you into the 4th century
u/ValerieFinn0 Feb 14 '23
Except he summons dark spirits
u/Thatgamerguy98 Jan 26 '23
u/NorysStorys Jan 26 '23
Sounds like they found the Sword of Totsuka and the Yata mirror.
u/Dread_Awaken Jan 26 '23
I believe a lot of people think that humans thousands of years ago were idiots when, in reality, they were probably just as or even had the potential to be smarter.
u/Nixeris Jan 26 '23
I don't think people (especially archeologists) believe people were dumber. Just that they were working with less of an information base than modern humans. Technology is a steady build-up on top of previous construction, not completely new structures.
It should be noted that the comment about them being "more technologically advanced than we thought" is on a sliding scale here. They're saying that certain techniques are used in it that they didn't think they had till a little later, not that they were leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else technologically or using integrated circuits or something.
Jan 26 '23
u/Fireonpoopdick Jan 26 '23
Not exactly rocket science, ancient astronaut theorists will probably use this as evidence that secretly this group of people got their more advanced metal from the stars obviously, not the materials, but the way to mine and turn them into a sword and shield, something obviously humans couldn't figure out in 700 AD, nope, definitely aliens.
u/Sandscarab Jan 26 '23
As ancient astronaut theorists contend.
u/Velghast Jan 26 '23
With such logical points like that how could it be anything else other than ancient aliens?
u/yesyesitswayexpired Jan 27 '23
Tomio Maruyama Tumulus making dubious claims. Can't pay the bills with dubious claims, we need more info, until then it's just speculation.
u/aemanthefox Feb 05 '23
Then this may put shintoism earlier than before
u/Franco_Fernandes Feb 08 '23
What's weird is that the sword is commonly referred as a "dako" in news sites, cited to be a kind of sword characterized by its "snake-like wavy shape". I can't find anything about those swords or references to them or otherwise any japanese swords with wavy shaped blades (most japanese swords do have wavy patterns on their blades, but not the blades themselves). Anyone knows where to find information about them?
u/ValerieFinn0 Feb 14 '23
Looks like the Celtic Battersea Shield, sorry if I got the name wrong
Also reminds me of the Looking Glass Knight from Dark Souls 2
u/Und3rSc0re Jan 26 '23
Thats a long sword, wonder who wielded this thing, Sephiroth?