Chihara Kitsunezuka-kofun Tumulus (a tumulus in Chihara, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture) (茅原狐塚古墳)
Chihara Kitsunezuka-kofun Tumulus is a tumulus in Chihara, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture. Its grave mound has gone and the megalithic stone chamber is exposed. Locally it is called Kitsunezuka; however here it is referred to with its Azamei (alias) to distinguish it from a tumulus of the same name.
Its exact shape is not known as its hodo (covering soil) is almost gone. It is assumed to be a square barrow of side 40 meters or more.
The granite horizontal stone chamber is south opened ryosode-style (a stone chamber with the passage connected the center of the wall of burial chamber). The total length of the tumulus is 17.3 meters; the burial chamber is 6.0 meters in length, 2.6 meters in width, and 3.2 meters in height; and its passage is 11.3 meters in length and 2.1 meters in width. It is an outstanding tumulus in Nara Prefecture in size. Since the structure of the stone chamber is much similar to that of Midoro Kita-kofun Tumulus (Gose City), it is said to be built in the same design.
In the excavation and research in 1958, three sets of iegata sekkan (house-shaped stone coffin) made of tuff were discovered inside the stone chamber. Additionally sueki (unglazed ware) and so on was excavated. As steel nails were excavated from the passage during this excavation, there is a possibility that wooden coffins were additionally buried.
Time of Construction
It is estimated to be constructed in the latter Kofun period (tumulus period) or the beginning of the seventh century from its artifacts and other facts.
Today it becomes a persimmon field surrounded by rice fields and it is difficult to recognize it as a tumulus. The stone chamber was once used as a storage space of farming equipments.
Chihara Obaka-kofun Tumulus (national historical site): Located 300 meters north-northeast of this tumulus.