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Newly unearthed relics provide ancient kingdoms link

Jan 16,2018
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Significant relics of the Daegaya Kingdom have been excavated at the ancient tombs site in Jisan-dong in Goryeong, North Gyeongsang, including a well-preserved skeleton, above; a sword with ring pommel, top right; and pieces of a helmet and an armor, bottom right. [CULTURAL HERITAGE ADMINISTRATION]
A pile of significant relics that can provide evidence for the relationship between the Daegaya, Baekje and Silla Kingdoms has been excavated at the ancient tombs site in Jisan-dong in Goryeong, North Gyeongsang.

According to the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), Daedong Culture Foundation has been conducting excavations of the site since June, and announced Monday that it has discovered 74 tombs and 89 relics from the mid-5th century, when Daegaya was in its prime, to the end of the 6th century, before it succumbed to the rising Silla Kingdom.

The discovered relics, according to CHA, are considered significant as there is a lack of documentation on this lost kingdom and because they help presume Daegaya’s foreign exchange activities, especially in the 6th century.

Among the unearthed relics, a gilt bronze hat that was discovered inside a tomb is noteworthy, CHA said, as the design is similar to the official hats of Baekje. CHA also added that the features of a sword with a ring pommel, which was also discovered in the same chamber, are similar to those of Silla swords, suggesting an exchange of production techniques between Daegaya and Silla.

During the excavation, a new Daegaya burial custom was also discovered.

So far, burial traditions discovered in Jisan-dong mostly involved burying several bodies in stone-lined tombs, but the recent excavation shows a new style, in which bodies are placed along the contour of the tomb in a manner known as sunjang custom, which involves the burial of servants with high-ranking people, both inside smaller tombs. A well-preserved skeleton has also been found in one of the tombs, said CHA.

Daedong Culture Foundation said it will open the site to the public and hold a press briefing today at the site at 1:30 p.m.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]