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トップページ > 茅野市尖石縄文考古館 > National Treasure "Dogu" part 2: "Kamen no Megami"(the Masked Goddess)

National Treasure "Dogu" part 2: "Kamen no Megami"(the Masked Goddess)

The "Dogu" ("Kamen no Megami") [Clay Figurine (Masked Goddess)] of the Nakappara site

Photo: National Treasure

  • Excavated on Aug. 23, 2000
  • Designated as a national treasure of Japan on Aug. 21, 2014

This is a large-sized hollowed dogu (clay figurine) that measures 34cm height and 2.7kg, and this was unearthed from the Nakappara site in Kohigashi district, Chino. The patterns carefully drawn on its body indicates that this dogu was possibly made while the late period of the Jomon period, approximately B.C.2000 (4000yrBP). The upside-down triangular shaped face is the most standing-out feature of this dogu and also we can see the line running to the back of the head, as if the strings in order to put on/ fix a mask. These two features make us feel the masked person on this dogu. In 2014, this dogu was designated to a National Treasure.
This dogu was found in a pit considered as a burial pit and the right leg was broken. Surprisingly, a piece of the dogu was just put at the broken mouth of the body, and moreover, other pieces were found inside of the body and the right leg. Such situation possibly tells us some ceremonial rules of funeral at that time. Anyway, we can say that the right leg was intentionally broken and the pieces from the breakage were treated as mentioned above and then put into this burial pit. However the dogu associated with a burial pit is very few in number (less than 10 examples), only this dogu tells us a detail way of furnishing some goods.

Excavation of the A fragment of tha
The "Dogu" ("Kamen no Megami") was found from a burial pit with the right leg broken.
And a piece of the dogu was just put at the broken mouth(right photo).

The place where the

The buried person was died by the fatal injury on her(/his?) right leg, or this treatment on its right leg shows some episodes of a funeral ceremony in late Jomon. Maybe the Jomon people filled something with the piece inside of the body. Anyway, this dogu possibly makes us approach to the way how the Jomon people faced their life and death.
On August 21 of 2014, this dogu was designated as a National Treasure by those features.

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