Masked Goddess

After enjoying the view of the snow-capped Northern Alps from the windows of the train on the limited express “Shinano” from Nagano in the previous article, I changed to the limited express “Asama” at Matsumoto and arrived in Chino in less than 30 minutes.

Our destination for the day is a favorite hot spring resort in Tateshina highland, but before that, we have a stopover.

Do you know what this picture is, which I used for the door picture of the index page?

Some of you may recognize it from textbooks. It is a national treasure “clay figurine” excavated from ancient ruins, commonly known as the “Masked Goddess”.

Many ruins from the ancient Jomon period have been discovered in Chino and the Yatsugatake Mountains, and a great number of earthenware, clay figures, and stone tools have been unearthed. I visited this facility this time.

茅野市尖石縄文考古館 - 茅野市ホームページ

The back of the “Masked Goddess” is also mysterious.

I was a novice, leaving aside the opinions of the specialists, and thought to myself with a 200% irresponsible delusion, “This looks like a person wearing a space suit or a diving suit”.

The “Masked Goddess” is not the only attraction of this archaeological museum. Another national treasure in the museum’s collection is this clay figurine, known as the “Jomon Venus”.

It is rare for a clay figurine from the Jomon period to be unearthed in this way, almost completely intact. Perhaps it is because I know that they are national treasures that my appreciation for them is heightened in my brain, but when I see them up close, I feel their “aura”.

Yes, you can see them up close at a distance of a few tens of centimeters. I wonder if it is safe to display national treasures like this (even though they are in glass cases) in such a careless manner.

Many other excavated artifacts, such as earthenware and stoneware, are displayed in this way.

Not many unscrupulous people would touch it, but even so, it seems too generous.

In addition to the excavated artifacts and explanations, there are also hands-on activities such as making rope lines on clay tablets like Jomon pottery, cracking nuts with a stone tool, and wearing ancient clothing!.

The last photo of the museum is this one.

This is a “Masked Goddess” with a market value of 300 yen that I won from the “Jomon Clay Figure gacha lottery” at the Archaeology Museum. It’s a very funny and well-made piece.

After this, we headed up the Venus Line road to Tateshina highland.