The Sakafune-ishi Ruins correspond to the "stone wall on the mountain east of the palace" mentioned in the entry for 656 in the Chronicles of Japan. In the 2000 excavations, water conduit apparatus consisting of stone paving, stone walls, and stone steps were discovered around a tortoise-shaped stone tank. Water from a spring was channeled to an oval, ship-shaped stone tank through wooden ducts and accumulated there. From there, small amounts of water seeped through small holes in it, entered the nose of the tortoise, where it accumulated in the tank on its back. These devices were located deep in a valley, with the walls of the valley covered with stone steps and flagstones. It is surmised that the place had some connection to ceremonies involving the emperor, since it does not seem to have been constructed in order to enjoy the sight of the running water.
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