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Discovery of the lost town
In 1928, a large amount of pottery, imported porcelain, gravestones, coins, and other artifacts were discovered in the process of re-routing the Ashida River. The discovery led some local historians to suspect that the location of the discovery indicated the site of Kusado Sengen and the town had been inhabited during medieval times. Further research into the site however was not carried out. The site got buried under a sandbank of the re-routed Ashida River, and some parts of the site were eroded by the river.
Beginning of the excavation
In 1961, the Fukuyama Municipal Board of Education conducted the first excavation at the site. As a result, archaeological features dating to the Kamakura and Muromachi Periods were found. It became certain that the town recorded as Kusado Sengen had existed in this place.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Construction planned river improvements and the construction of a dam. These plans caused the possibility that the sandbank on which the site was located might be destroyed or completely submerged. Serious and long-term investigations therefore became urgently necessary. Accordingly, the Hiroshima Prefectural Institute for the Kusado Sengen-cho Site Investigations was founded in 1973, which is a research unit within the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education. This body has conducted excavations of 66,385 sq.m for over twenty years since then.
Establishment of the museum
The results of investigations into the site are now exhibited in the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of History opened in 1989. This museum focuses on the history and culture of the people on the Seto Inland Sea, centering on the materials excavated from the site. In the museum, you can enter a reconstructed part of the town, and understand details of living in Kusado Sengen.
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