Chitose City, Hokkaido

Historic site

Kiusu Earthwork Burial Circles

Designated as a historic site on October 23, 1979

Time division - Late
Close-up view of Earthwork Burial Circle 2 (May 2013)

Close-up view of Earthwork Burial Circle 2 (May 2013)

This is a group of communal graves that was constructed on a slope at an altitude of 15 to 20 m northeast of Chitose City, Hokkaido, in the latter half of the Late Jomon period (approx. 1,200 BC). A large torus-shaped earthwork was made by digging a circular pit and piling the dug soil around the pit. Several graves within such an earthwork compartment constitute one earthwork burial circle.

The Kiusu Earthwork Burial Circles consist of eight such circles in a designated area of approximately 4.9 ha. Their diameter ranges from 18 to 75 m, the distance from the top surface of the circular earthworks to the bottom of the pits is 1 to 5.4 m, and the amount of soil dug up to construct Earthwork Burial Circle 2 is estimated to have reached a maximum of 3,400 ㎥. There are several burial pits in each of the circular earthworks, some of which have standing stones.

Burial pits that are not covered with soil are rare in prehistoric cultures in the world, showing a grave system unique to the Jomon culture. Earthwork burial circles are very important as evidence of the social system related to funerals and memorial ceremonies for ancestral spirits. In particular, the Kiusu Earthwork Burial Circles are earthwork burial circles of a unique scale, representing the grave system.

Library *Click to enlarge.

Literature

Basic Information

Display the Kiusu Earthwork Burial Circles
on an enlarged map.

Site Location

Chuo, Chitose, Hokkaido

Facility Exhibiting Excavated Articles

Chitose Archaeological Operations Center
Address
Osatsu 42-1, Chitose, Hokkaido, 066-0001
Tel
0123-24-4210 / +81-123-24-4210
Website
Chitose Archaeological Operations Center
Hours
9:00–17:00
Mondays–Fridays, second Sunday of each month
Closed
Saturdays and Sundays
National holidays
Year-end and New Year holidays (Dec. 29–Jan. 3)
Admission
fee
Free
Access
■5 km north of JR Osatsu Station (~10 min. by car)
■11 km from JR Chitose Station (~20 min. by car)

Inquiries

Chitose Archaeological Operations Center

Address
Osatsu 42-1, Chitose, Hokkaido, 066-0001
Tel
0123-24-4210 / +81-123-24-4210
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