Category Archives: S. KOREA

Full set of gilt-bronze accessories from the 6th-century tomb

Full set of gilt-bronze accessories from the 6th-century tomb

The Korea Times reports that additional finds were recovered from a small 1,500-year-old tomb in eastern South Korea where a pair of gilt-bronze shoes were recently excavated from a Silla-era royal tomb complex in Gyeongju, some 371 kilometers southeast of Seoul. These included a small gilt-bronze coronet, gold earrings, bracelets, a silver ring, and silver belt, and a beaded chest lace, or a piece of regalia worn across the chest and shoulders. 

Accessories ranging from a gilt-bronze coronet to shoes have been discovered from a tomb believed to have been created 1,500 years ago. 

In addition to the gilt-bronze shoes and gilt-bronze accessories, it added, found in May at the same tomb. For the first time since the early 1970s, the CHA has excavated a complete body of ornaments of a buried person from a tomb in the Silla era.

The deceased buried in the Hwangnamdong Tumulus No. 120-2, presumed to be either an aristocrat or person of royal blood, wore a gilt-bronze coronet, a pair of earrings, and a pair of gilt-bronze shoes, according to the CHA. A chest lace, belts, bracelets, and rings were also found at the same time.

According to researchers, the gilt-bronze cap-like coronet features three tree-like branches and two antler-like prongs, with the outer band decorated with heart-shaped holes and jade and gold marbles.

Along with a pair of gold earrings and a beaded chest lace, the person also carries a silver belt and a handful of silver bracelets and rings. One bracelet on the right wrist is embellished with more than 500 yellow beads about 1 millimeter small.

Both pairs of shoes had T-shaped carve-out patterns on the surface, decorated each with gilt-bronze “dalgae,” a bracelet-like ornament made with beads. Usually, shoes buried in ancient tombs of Silla were created for funeral ceremonies.

The CHA said the height of the owner of the tomb is estimated at 170 centimeter, as it is 176 cm from the middle of the gilt-bronze cap to the shoes. But the sex of the deceased was difficult to discern at the moment, it added.

“This is a small-sized tomb, but the owner has the full set of accessories. It is expected to be possessed by a noble or royal-blooded person,” a researcher from the CHA said. “We’ve found many new things from this project. We will keep studying the case.”

The excavation was part of a project between the CHA and the Gyeongju city aimed at restoring major historic ruins linked to the capital of the Silla dynasty.

Gyeongju is home to three UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites: Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, Yangdong Village, and the Gyeongju Historic Areas. Daereungwon is part of the Gyeongju Historic Areas. (Yonhap)

Gilt-Bronze Burial Shoes Unearthed in South Korea

Gilt-Bronze Burial Shoes Unearthed in South Korea

NORTH GYEONGSANG PROVINCE, SOUTH KOREA—According to a Korea Herald report, a pair of gilt-bronze shoes thought to date to the late fifth or early sixth century A.D. was found in one of three tombs at a burial site in Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom in eastern South Korea.

The tomb also contained saddles, bronze ware, iron pots, and earthenware. Researchers from the Silla Cultural Heritage Research Institute said such shoes were covered with T-shaped holes and were only used for funeral ceremonies. 

The shoes were newly excavated from an ancient Silla tomb in Gyeongju for the first time in 43 years.

Tomb No. 120 in Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province (CHA)

A pair of gilt bronze shoes, a silver plate to embellish a belt, and horse harness ornaments were excavated from Tomb No. 120-2 in Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju, the Cultural Heritage Administration announced on Wednesday.

Gilt bronze shoes from the Silla Kingdom were intended for funerals, not everyday use. This is the first time that such shoes were found from an ancient Silla tomb in Gyeongju since 1977 in ancient tombs in Inwang-dong.

The gilt-bronze shoes discovered May 15 in tomb No. 120-2 in Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province (CHA)

The pair of shoes featuring T-shaped holes on the surface and Buddhist gilt bronze ornaments were discovered near the feet of the buried body.

The excavation process for the shoes is still ongoing as of Wednesday. Gilt bronze shoes of a similar shape were found from the southern mound of Hwangnam DaeChong tomb in Gyeongju.

“The presence of gilt bronze shoes suggests that the buried person was from a royal family,” said senior researcher Kim Kwon-il at the Silla Cultural Heritage Research Center, which is in charge of the excavation.

In addition, a silver plate to embellish a belt was found near the legs and several Buddhist gilt bronze ornaments were found near the head.

The Cultural Heritage Administration said the Buddhist ornaments may have been used as part of or to decorate a hat. For grave goods, various horse harness ornaments, including a gilt bronze saddle and other gilt bronze embellishments, bronze irons, cast iron cauldrons, and earthware were found.

Tomb No. 120 in Hwangnam-dong is located in the Daereungwon royal tomb site. A tomb number was assigned but the past existence of an ancient tomb was unclear as a private residence was built on the site.

The Cultural Heritage Administration and the Gyeongju municipal government identified additional tombs in the north and south of Tomb No. 120 during its excavation last year.

S. Korea identifies 4 Korean War soldiers from remains found in DMZ

S. Korea identifies 4 Korean War soldiers from remains found in DMZ

The bones of the soldier and its relics were excavated in arrowhead ridge in the central section of the inter-Korean border in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, a region of heinous battles in the 1950-53 Korean War that is now inside the Demilitarized Zone.

This photo, provided by the defense ministry on March 9, 2020, shows the remains of a South Korean soldier who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War. The remains were found at Arrowhead Ridge inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas during an eight-month government excavation project that ended in November 2019.

The Ministry for Defense, on Monday, has just named four soldiers killed in a war that has been identified.

A sergeant first class, a staff sergeant and two sergeants are believed to have died in the fourth battle that took place on Arrowhead Ridge, now inside the DMZ, about two weeks before a truce ending the Korean War was signed July 27, 1953.

A National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) taskforce conducted excavation work on the ridge, a central section of the inter-Korean border in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, between April and November last year.

The team identified another three soldiers last year.

“Numerous items were found with the remains of the four soldiers, such as water bottles, ammunition, identification tags, insignias, certificates, bayonets, combat shoes, and helmets,” the team said in a press release.

“The four soldiers participated in the Korean War at the age of twenty. Among them, three were married and each had a child left behind with their wives.”

The team said the identification of the dead soldiers was possible thanks to genetic sampling conducted on around 40,000 bereaved family members. But it said it still needs to collect more samples.

Through the excavation conducted last year, the team found about 2,000 bones believed to be from over 260 soldiers as well as 67,000 war items in the DMZ area.

It is estimated that there the remains of over 10,000 war dead are in the area.