Mr Inoue Kazuto from the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Japan, Visits Luoyang Archaeological Station and Gives Lecture
Mr Inoue Kazuto, the Department Head of the Research and Investigation Department at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Japan, and Research Fellow Imai Kouki visited the CASS Institute of Archaeology's archaeological station in Luoyang between November 30th and December 3rd, 2009. The Institute of Archaeology (CASS) and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties are currently undertaking a joint excavation of the Han-Wei city ruins at Luoyang, a project which both parties hold in very high regard. The purpose of Mr Inoue's visit was to get a better insight into the progress being made on the cooperative project by the two institutes.
On November 30th, Mr Inoue visited a number of excavation sites in the palace complex at the Sui-Tang Luoyang city ruins, including those of the Ming Tang imperial hall and the circular Heavenly Hall building. Team Director Shi Zishe gave Mr Inoue a detailed account of the excavation and study of the Ming Tang and Heavenly Hall ruins. Mr Inoue also took the opportunity to see the conservation and exhibition works being carried out at the Dingding Gate site.
On December 2nd, Mr Inoue visited the Han-Wei city ruins, where Team Director Qian Guoxiang briefed him on the results of the joint excavation being carried out by a team of Chinese and Japanese archaeologists. Mr Inoue also visited the ruins of the Changhe Gate, Gate No.2 and Gate No.3 (which is currently being excavated) as well as the conservation works being carried out on the foundations of the Yongning Temple and the northern city walls.
A seminar on the topic of ancient Chinese and Japanese capital cities was held in the Luoyang Archaeological Station's new meeting room on December 1st. The theme of the seminar was "Luoyang and Nara : A Tale of Two Cities" and it was presided over by Han Jianhua, the assistant team leader of the Institute of Archaeology team assigned to the Sui-Tang Luoyang City ruins. Participants included Qian Guoxiang, Director of the Institute of Archaeology's Luoyang Archaeological Station; Wang Xuerong, Deputy Director of the Institute of Archaeology's Cultural Heritage Conservation and Research Centre; Gu Fei, Team Director of the Yanshi Shang City Fieldwork Team; Shi Zishe, Team Director of the Sui-Tang Luoyang City Fieldwork Team; and around 20 people from the various fieldwork teams stationed at Luoyang and from the Luoyang Municipal Cultural Relics Bureau.
During the seminar, Qian Guoxian talked about his team's research objectives and their excavation of the Hai-Wei city ruins, while Shi Zishe talked about the recent developments of his team's excavation of Luoyang's Sui and Tang era capital cities. This was followed by a lecture by Mr Inoue on "Ancient Capitals of Japan". In his lecture, Mr Inoue made use of archaeological evidence to analyse the similarities between the ancient Japanese city of Heijō-kyō and the Tang Dynasty capital of Chang'an. He pointed to the similarities in their structural layouts, city gates and roads and suggested that Heijō-kyō was modeled after Chang'an, albeit at a quarter of Chang'an's original size. Mr Inoue received high praise from the seminar's attendees for his insightful lecture, novel research methods and unique point of view.
After the lecture, the attending scholars discussed a number of issues related to the research of ancient Chinese and Japanese capital cities, including the excavation methods used at the various sites, the cities' structural layouts, axial lines and systems of city gates. Mr Inoue was also invited to give the audience a brief background on the archaeological excavations being conducted at Japan's ancient capital cities and the division of labour and cooperation between archaeologists and researchers studying ancient buildings. (Translated by Kelly McGuire)