History of studies and research on Kitora Tumulus

208Unraveling Kitora's mysteries from surviving materials.

Surveys and analysis are important tasks in unraveling history. Starting with the murals, human bone, artifacts such as burial goods, stone materials and the plaster itself, the latest technologies were used to unravel the historical evidence hidden within each item, and it was possible to know characteristics invisible to the naked eye.

Investigations of the material properties and structure of cultural properties are conducted as mush as possible with methods that do not directly affect those items. But as the plaster layer of the murals is impenetrable to ultraviolet or infrared light, and also too permeable to radio waves and X-rays, there has been no effective method for non-intrusive investigation until now. Recently, however, a reflection imaging system that uses terahertz (THz) wave pulses has been introduced. This new method was used for investigating the plaster layer of the Kitora stone chamber. This new technology yielded many significant findings, such as conditions within the plaster layer, and places where it was peeling or had become porous.