Divers found load of ancient tiles on route to Kyoto

Divers surveying the coast of Ainoshima island in Shingu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, discovered a load of ancient tiles. Experts believe they sunk while being transported to Kyoto.

Tiles on sea bed (by Shingu town education board via Asahi Shimbun)
Tiles on sea bed (by Shingu town education board via Asahi Shimbun)

About 30 ancient roof tiles were found on the sea bed. They seem to be similar to the ones unearthed at Heiankyo, the ancient capital of Japan in present-day Kyoto. The divers were exploring submerged ruins near the Meganeiwa rock East of Ainoshima island in the Genkai Sea. The tiles are said to stretch in an area of 40 meters east to west and 30 meters north to south. An additional 10 tiles were discovered at another location. The artefacts measure about 30 cm by 30 cm and are said to be in good condition. Experts identified these tiles as “kegogawara” that were used at the Dazaifu administrative office during the Heian Period (794-1185 AD). Similar finds were were previously discovered in waters surrounding the Meganeiwa rock.

(after Asahi Shimbun & Shingu town education board)

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