Exhibition Room Introduction


Inside the entrance hall there is a glass observation gallery. From here it is possible to see an ariel view of the display galleries. Take a look before you proceed into the world of archaeology.

Introduction Gallery

From the moment you enter the Introduction Gallery a sense of excitement will enhance your expectations as you walk into the past.
After passing the information display, your expectations will be increased when actually viewing the display relics.

The Aira Caldera ~ South Kyushu Terrain

The Aira Caldera was made by exceptionally large eruptions, the resulting ash covered a huge area from South Kyushu to North of Japan, including parts of China. After the Ice Age ended, global warming began.
This would result in the spread of rich laurel forests followed by the birth of the Joman culture.

South Kyushu as a Part of East Asia

Of the many mythologies and lores handed down in Japan, quite a few are similar to those in East and South Asia. This suggests that exchanges with other regions were connected via the ocean currents.
Also shellfish ornaments that were brought from the Southern Islands have been excavated from tombs dating from the Yayoi era to the Kofun era.

Inland and the Plains – Indications of Bi-polarization

The introduction of rice cultivation brought about a change in the organization of society.
In the Plains this change was significant. On the other hand, in the inland areas, the acceptance of Rice Cultivation coexisted along with the traditional cultivation of field crops and gathering.
In addition, earthenware clearly indicates the individuality of the area.

Kofun Era of the Japan Islands

To understand the Kofun Era, it is necessary to consider not only the evolution of the ancient tombs with respect to distribution and morphology, but also the political situation at that time both from a domestic and from the East Asia perspective.
Many other things surrounding the ancient tombs must also be taken into account.

A Model of the Osahozuka and Mesahozuka Tombs

The Osahozuka and Mesahozuka Tombs construction methods were built at the height of the South Kyushu tumulus culture, and are of significant importance to Saitobaru Kofun area.
Both of these ancient tomb forms still hold many mysteries, such as their different shapes and why they were constructed adjacent to each other.
At the same time, the many huge burial mounds that were constructed around the country represents the political situation within the Japan Islands and abroad.

Horizontal Underground Tombs - Burial Chambers Which Do Not Overlap

The horizontal underground tombs of South Kyushu have a very unique shape in that they are of the underground corridor style burial chamber;in general they do not have any visible indications above ground.
However, even though there is a high density of tombs, all were built without overlapping.
One is left wondering if any sort of marks or regulations were used?

Horizontal Underground Tomb No.4

A full-scale model of the horizontal underground tomb can be viewed from the side. As if standing underground,
a visitor can observe the layout of grave goods in the burial chamber, the state of preservation of the iron products,
and the position of the Blocking Stones.

Understanding of the Horizontal Underground Tombs

A number of human bones that have been unearthed from horizontal underground tombs and can be divided roughly into two groups based upon the difference in physical human traits of the inland and the plains areas.
These differences are also apparent from the grave goods.
The inland areas tend to be biased towards weapons, including horse tackle, while the plain areas are more biased to items such as mirrors and trinkets.

Understanding of Hayato

Hayato were groups of people from the frontier that caused a rebellion at the time when Japan's national framework, the criminal and administrative code, was taking shape.
After the Hayato became subjugated, it is said that they were forced to become guards at the Emperors Court. In literature, only the word "Hayato Mai – Hayato Dance" remains, but the actual dance no longer exists.
In addition, Hayato shields, which have a unique design, have recently been found forming a part of the framework of a water well.

Local Area Archaeology

The large-scale terrain model helps in understanding of the location of tomb groups and the distribution of the Saitobaru tumuli.
Why was Saitobaru mound area important and why is the largest Kofun here? Also why do mound tombs coexist with underground tombs?
These and many more questions come to mind.

Excavated Items Store Room

Excavated bones and iron grave items from within Miyazaki prefecture are the countries best in terms of quality and quantity.
This is a special temperature and humidity controlled store room.
Visitors can observe from the window and researchers can explore the wealth of information contained within.

Archaeology Laboratory

This is a virtual laboratory in the museum, in which the visitor can experience and verify the archaeological research methods and/or study processes.
There are two laboratories the "Archaeology Laboratory" and "Archaeological Science Laboratory."