ASUKA, Nara Pref. — Using a tiny, high-resolution camera, archaeologists on Thursday began examining the interior of the 1,300-year-old Kitora burial mound for the first time in 15 years, hoping to get clear images of mural paintings inside the stone tomb.

At 2:40 p.m., the 60 million yen camera, measuring just 3 cm in diameter, was inserted into the tomb through a 3-meter pipe as researchers and reporters watched expectantly on a monitor display nearby.

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