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BeArchaeo Project

Starting and ending year: 2019-2023

Be-Archaeo (BEyond ARCHAEOlogy) was an ambitious project funded through a European Union Horizon 2020 Rise (research and innovation staff exchange) programme (No. 823826).

It was the first time that an EU-funded archaeological project was implemented in Japan as a third country.

The aim of the project was to create a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary methodological protocol for the study of the link between the construction of kofun (Japanese megalithic protohistoric tombs) and the power shifts that shortly decreed the birth of a Japanese proto state.

The European consortium was made up of six European partners: IRIAE, which led the archaeological activities, the University of Turin, which headed the archaeometry activities, the University of Lisbon, which led the communication activities, the Greek TerraMarine for geophysical surveys, TecnArt for thermoluminescence dating and the Belgian Visual Dimension for 3D restorations.

The Japanese partner was Okayama University.

The main core of Be-Archaeo consists of the archaeological excavation of the Tobiotsuka Kofun (town of Soja in Okayama Prefecture) and landscape archaeology studies to understand the distributional dynamics of the kofun in the area of ancient Kibi and Izumo (present-day Okayama and Shimane Prefectures), with a focus on rituals, regional relations and the formation of the ancient state in Japan.

The project was completed despite the closure period caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in two exhibitions held in Japan at the Ancient Izumo Museum and in Italy at the University of Turin.

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