Research on the Cultural Heritages of Baekje

We sort out the results of various activities including an academic survey of cultural heritages and the preservation treatment of unearthed relics, carry out in-depth analysis/research by subject, and share the results with other researchers.



Academic surveys/research concerning temples that were built during the Baekje Period

We established a plan for this project with a view to compiling materials on ancient temples / sites surveyed so far in this country, and to carrying out a comparative study of those in China and Japan, in order to use them as basic materials for future excavation surveys and research. In 2008, we established a plan for the publication of a report on temple sites with wooden pagodas, which had become the object of considerable attention. We collected materials from sources both in and out of the country and took pictures through field trips. Such efforts resulted in the publication of the following report: Comparative Study-1 of Ancient Temple Sites in Korea, China, and Japan – with the focus on temple sites with wooden pagodas.

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Name of remains Academic surveys/research concerning temples that were built during the Baekje Period
Category Comparative study
Survey period 2008 ~ present
Description No original literature has survived

Recently, research has been carried out concerning the overhaul and restoration of various ancient temple sites Recently, research has been carried out concerning the overhaul and restoration of various Excavation surveys have been proactively carried out in the ancient capitals of the three kingdoms (i.e. Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla) to provide support for such research. Similar efforts are have been made in China and Japan.

Well-preserved Sarira caskets and meal bowls unearthed from the cornerstones of the wooden pagoda site of the Wangheungsa Temple (677) site and the western stone pagoda (639) of the Mireuksa Temple site have become objects of considerable attention. The inscriptions on them provide a clue as to who played a leading role in the construction of the temples and the background to their construction. We have carried out an excavation survey and research concerning temple-related historic sites, i.e., the sites of Mireuksa Temple, a temple in Yongjeong-ri,
Wangheungsa Temple, Jeongnimsa Temple, a temple in Gunsu-ri, etc. dating back to the Sabi Baekje Period. We have established a plan for this project with a view to compiling materials on the ancient temples/sites surveyed so far in this country, and to carrying out a comparative study of those in China and Japan, in order to use them as basic materials for future excavation surveys and research.

In 2008, we established a plan for the publication of a report on temple sites with wooden pagodas, which had become the center of attention. Our plan was focused on sites formed in the 5th ~ 7th centuries in Korea, China, and Japan, with the relevant materials relatively well kept (16 places in Korea including Pyeongyang, Gyeongju, Buyeo, and Iksan; 40 places in Japan including Nara, Osaka, and Kyoto; and two places in China, namely, Luoyang and Linzhangxian).

The checking of temple sites with wooden pagodas was focused on the base, plane section, and cornerstone. Details of the relevant skills used to erect wooden pagodas, their outward appearance, and unearthed relics were also checked. We collected materials from sources both in and out of the country and took pictures during field trips. We summarized the results of the surveys carried out prior to the publication of the report and held a seminar in May 2009, inviting Chinese and Japanese researchers to attend. Finally, in 2009, we published the following report: Comparative Study of Ancient Temple Sites in Korea, China, and Japan (I) – with the focus on temple sites with wooden pagodas.

In 2010, we published the following report, Comparative Study of Ancient Temple Sites in East Asia (II) – with the focus on main halls, as a result of sifting and sorting the data on the main halls of temples excavated in Korea, China and Japan, with the focus on their base, stairs, cornerstones, and plane sections.

In 2011 and 2012, we published a Comparative Study of Ancient Temple Sites in East Asia III (with a focus on the sites of sermon halls, monks’ quarters, ancillary buildings, gates, and roofed corridors). It was the third study from the special research project series. This study is an arrangement of the results of the research that was previously carried out on the major elements of the temple instead of the wooden pagodas and the Main Hall. We also held events called “The Status of Research on Ancient Gardens and Temple Sites in East Asia (2011)” and “The International Symposium on Special Research on Culture of Baekje (2012)” in order to discuss the desirable directions for a special research project and to share the results of research conducted in Korea, China, and Japan on temples.


See A Related Image
image View of the site of Hwangnyongsa Temple Site with wooden pagoda
image Upper side of the cornerstone and four pillars, Hwangnyongsa Temple Site
image View of the site of the east pagoda, Mang-deoksa Temple Site
image Cornerstone of the site of the west pagoda, Mangdeoksa Temple Site
image Standing Stone Maitreya Bodhisattva at a temple site in Gunsu-ri (Treasure No. 330)
image Seated Agalmatolite Buddha at a temple site in Gunsu-ri (Treasure No. 329)
image Temple site in Gunsu-ri
image Jeseoksa Temple Site
image Inscriptions on Bronze Sarira Casket
image Wangheungsa Temple Site
image The site of monks’ quarters at Jeongnimsa Temple
image The site of monks’ quarters at Mireuksa Temple
image Books

Research on the restoration of Baekje’s capital

The Buyeo National Institute of Cultural Heritage is pushing ahead with research related to the restoration of Baekje’s capital through the establishment of a GIS related to the relevant map of historic sites, to facilitate the sophisticated management and use of cultural heritage-related information and materials based on the continued computerization of data or materials excavated from Sabi Baekje’s capital. GIS is currently used by archaeological circles to record, analyze, interpret, and model data as part of an integrated information system (Comprising computer hardware/software, geographical materials, modeling methods and human resources) that is designed to collect, store, analyze, and express all forms of geographically referenced information and which serves as a major tool for supporting for policymakers’ decisions. Thus, members of the public, scholars, and research institutions will be able to use the information through the computerized data and basic materials concerning spatial distribution and locational analysis of historic sites and relics related to the capital of Sabi Baekje.

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Name of remains Research on the restoration of Baekje’s capital
Category Historic site excavation survey
Survey period 2008 ~ present
Description No original literature has survived

We intend to push ahead with research related to the restoration of Baekje’s capital by establishing a GIS for the sophisticated management and use of cultural heritage-related information and materials based on the continued computerization of data or materials excavated from Sabi Baekje’s capital.

The need has arisen for wider use of GIS in archaeological research and data management. As such, we intend to use the GIS-based map of historic sites in Sabi Baekje’s capital that we established in the period 2004~2007. There is also a need for systematic management of archaeological information through continued computerization of information on historic sites and relics in Sabi Baekje’s Capital so that members of the public, scholars, and research institutions can use the relevant information concerning spatial distribution and locational analysis.

Iksan by means of GIS-based information, with contour lines, roads, and buildings indicated, using the national standard digital map. We are continuing the work of computerizing new information on historic sites and relics related to Buyeo and Wanggungseong Fortress in Iksan, added after drawing up the map on Buyeo, as well as the work of making a database for three-dimensional locational information. We also intend to carry out multidisciplinary research for the restoration of the capital of the Baekje Dynasty through the collection and re-use of GIS-based analytical data of spaces in Buyeo and Wanggungseong Fortress in Iksan.

Our plan also includes updates of existing information on Buyeo and Wanggungseong Fortress in addition to the establishment of a GIS-based map of historic sites in Buyeo through the computerization of information on historic sites and relics in the capital of Ungjin Baekje. We will secure the budget required to establish a server that can improve the existing GIS-based map of the historic sites in Buyeo and provide a web-based service in cooperation with the relevant institutions in the hope of securing our position as the center of resreach relatwed to the Baekje capital.


image Initial screen
image Image of the locations of historic sites
image Image of the attributes of historic relics
image Image of the attributes of historic relics

Comparative Study of Ancient Gardens in East Asia

A garden was found at the end of latitudinal stone embankment no.4 at the Wanggung-ri Site. During the survey of the garden that we conducted in the period 2004-2007, we identified the size and structure of the central part of the garden, a water inlet/outlet, a long exquisite stone structure made for supplying water to the garden, a “ㄱ”-shaped drainage facility (attached to the southeastern corner of the stone structure) for regulating the amount of water flowing into the garden, and a stone structure designed to control water flowing out of the garden through the water inlet. The study revealed a nature-friendly garden displaying exquisite landscaping skills, the first discovery of its kind among structures built during the Three Kingdoms Period.

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Name of remains Workshop in the Royal Palace
Category Historic site excavation survey
Survey period 2010 ~ present
Description No original literature has survived

A garden was found at the end of latitudinal stone embankment no.4 at the Wanggung-ri Site. During the survey of the garden that we conducted in the period 2004-2007, we identified the size and structure of the central part of the garden, a water inlet/outlet, a long exquisite stone structure made for supplying water to the garden, a “ㄱ”-shaped drainage facility (attached to the southeastern corner of the stone structure) for regulating the amount of water flowing into the garden, and a stone structure designed to control water flowing out of the garden through the water inlet. The study revealed a nature-friendly garden displaying exquisite landscaping skills, the first discovery of its kind among structures built during the Three Kingdoms Period.

In a survey of the slope to in the northern section of the garden carried out since 2008, we have identified a curved water channel, a walkway, stone structure facilities, building sites, and so on in the rear garden. Along the gentle slope in the northern section of the garden, we found a water channel, built using diverse techniques, for supplying water to the palace buildings. The curved water channel, the like of which were prevalent during the Eastern Jin China Period and adopted for the Touin Garden in Heijo Palace, Japan, was confirmed to have been a central element in the rear garden of the Wanggungni site, thus opening up the possibility of comparative research on the formation of garden forests in East Asian countries.

To shed light on the nature of the garden at the Wanggung-ri Site, the need arose for comparative research on the garden and its counterparts in China and Japan. This will also help us to understand the structure and function of palace gardens formed during the Baekje Period. The information thus accumulated will serve as basic materials for overhauling and restoring the gardens of historic sites, including the Wanggung-ri Site.

We designated the following as relevant historic sites to be surveyed:
1) In Korea: The sites of Anhakgung Palace, the pond in Daeseongsanseong Fortress, and the pond in Jeongneungsa Temple (dating back to Goguryeo); Wolji or Anapji Pond, the pond the Gyeongju National Museum, and the ponds in Yonggang-dong and Guhwang-dong (dating back to Silla).
2) In China: Sites dating back to Xia, Shang, and Zhou; sites dating back to Qin and Han; sites dating back to the Wei, Jin and North-South dynasties, the historic site of Taiyechi Pond, Daiming Palace, Changan Castle of Tang China; Yuanchi Pond, Shangyang Palace, Luoyang Castle (dating back to Sui/Tang).
3) In Japan: Historic sites in Uenomiya, Furumiya, Shimanosho, Ishigami, Kooriyama, dating back to the Asuka Period; sites dating back to the Nara Period.

We planned to carry out the survey for five years from 2010 to 2014. In 2010, we conducted a survey of the following places from October 3 to 7: the site of Hualinyuan Garden, Luoyang Palace of Northern Wei (A.D. 493~534) in Luoyang, Henan Province, China; and the historic site of Taiyechi Pond, Daiming Palace, Changan Castle of Tang China (A.D. 634~663) in Xian, Shanxi Province, China. There, we collected basic materials related to excavations, studies previously carried out, and the status of international exchanges and coopration.

Comparative Study of Ancient Gardens in East Asia


Future Survey Plan
Stage Content
Second
survey In
2011
· Shedding light on the size and composition of the rear garden of the Wanggung-ri site in Iksan (From an archaeological perspective)
- Historic site where gardens / landscaping stones were unearthed in association with Pingcheng, the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty : Located in Datong City, Shanxi Province
- Hualinyuan Garden, Jiankang Taicheng Palace of Southern Dynasties dating back to the Wei, Jin and North-South dynasties : Located in Nanjing, China
· On-site survey in China
· Publication of Comparative Study of Ancient Gardens in East Asian countries-I: (With the focus on the status of historic sites and relics related to ancient gardens)
· Comparative analysis related to ancient gardens in other East Asian countries-I (Wei, Jin and North-South Dynasties in China and the Asuka Period in Japan)
· Results
- Report entitled A Comparative Study of Ancient Gardens in East Asian Countries-I
- A report on the results of an on-site survey in China
Third
survey In
2012
· Shedding light on the size and composition of the rear garden of the Wanggung-ri site in Iksan-II (From a landscaping perspective)
· Comparative analysis related to ancient gardens in other East Asian countries-1 (Sui and Tang Dynasties in China and the Nara Period in Japan)
· An international symposium on ancient gardens in other East Asian countries (Theme: Status and problems concerning the research on ancient gardens in other East Asian countries)
· On-site survey in China
- (Dating back to Han): Located in Xian, Shaanxi Province
- Located in Guangzhou (Dating back to Sui): Located in Xian, Shaanxi Province
· Results
- A collection of materials related to international symposiums
- A report on the results of an on-site survey in China
Fourth
survey In
2013
· Shedding light on the significance of the rear garden of the Wanggung-ri site in Iksan (From a multidisciplinary research perspective)
· Coming up with a proposal for restoration of the rear garden in question
· Comparative analysis related to ancient gardens in other East Asian countries-2 (Sui and Tang Dynasties in China and the Nara Period in Japan)
· On-site survey in Japan
- Historic sites in Uenomiya, Furumiya, Shimanosho, Ishigami, Kooriyama, Asuka Palace Pond (Dating back to the Asuka Period)
· Results
- A collection of materials related to international symposiums
- A report on the results of an on-site survey in China
Fourth
survey In
2013
· Comparative analysis of materials related to ancient gardens in other East Asian countries-3 (The Tang Dynasty and thereafter in China and the Asuka Period and thereafter in Japan)
· Publication of Comparative Study of Ancient Gardens in East Asian countries-II (With the focus on the characteristics of gardens of Baekje compared to those of other East Asian countries)
· On-site survey in Japan
- Remains excaved from the Heyjokyu Sakiyike and Heyjogyoto Gardens D6(dating back to the Nara Period)
· Results
- Publication of the final report entitled Comparative Study-II of Ancient Gardens in East Asian countries
- A report on the results of the onsite survey in Japan

image Aerial view of the rear garden
image View of the central section of the garden
image Decorating stones unearthed from the garden
image Current view of Kyushu Pond
image View of Taeaekji Pond, China in the process of overhaul / restoration
image Researchers conducting a survey of Yuanchi Pond, Sangyanggung Palace
image Researchers conducting a survey of Hualinyuan Pond, China
image View of a miniature model of Taiyechi Pond, China
image View of Taiyechi Pond, China in the process of overhaul / restoration

Research on roof tiles from the Sabi-Baekje Period

Roof tiles, along with earthenware, are the objects that are most frequently unearthed from historic sites. They are very important materials that are used to date the buildings that remain in a historic site and to guess the status of changes made to buildings. Since 2009, we have engaged in the Research on Roof Tiles from the Sabi-Baekje Period project with a view to conducting a systematic analysis on ancient roof tiles.

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The name of special research project Research on Roof Tiles from the Sabi-Baekje Period
Classification Excation Survey of Historic Sites
Period 2009 - present
Materials used N/A

Roof tiles, along with earthenware, are objects most frequently unearthed from historic sites. They are very important materials used to date buildings left in a historic site and guess the status of changes made in buildings. We have engaged in Research on Roof Tiles of the Sabi-Baekje Period with a view to making systematic analysis on ancient roof tiles since 2009.

In 2009, we came up with a guideline for the classification of types through a compilation of convex roof-end tiles that had been unearthed from Sabi-Baekje sites and by studying their attributes. In 2010, we conducted an in-depth analysis of convex roof-end tiles that had been unearthed from individual historic sites, including those in Gunsu-ri (2010), Wangheungsa Temple and a roof tile kiln to its east (2011), and Gwanbuk-ri and Jeongrimsa Temple (2012). The results of these findings are contained in the Research on Roof Tiles of the Sabi-Baekje Period I~Ⅳ.

We classified convex roof-end tiles, which were unearthed from individual historic sites, by type. We did so based on the result of naked-eye observations and measurement-based surveys. We also made an attempt to restore the production process through the analysis of traces left on relics, the status of supply and demand, and other relevant characteristics.

In 2012, we completed the analysis of convex roof-end tiles that had been unearthed from major Sabi-Baekje sites in Buyeo. Throughout this year (2013) we are carrying out a similar analysis of items that have been unearthed in Iksan.

Academic surveys of sites of demolished Baekje temples

We started this project to invigorate the research on Baekje temples by linking surface surveys and excavation surveys, and to provide the basic data required for the preservation and management of historic sites based on a comprehensive plan for overhauling the sites of demolished Baekje temples. We conducted a survey of sites of demolished temples, with the focus on those in Gongju, Buyeo, and Iksan, areas that played a central role in the activities of Baekje. In 2008, we published a report based on the results of the surveys of the sites of demolished temples in Buyeo.

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Name of remains Research on sites of demolished Baekje temples
Category Historic site excavation survey
Survey period 2008 ~ present
Description Original literature has survived

We started this project to invigorate the research on Baekje temples by linking surface surveys and excavation surveys, and to provide the basic data required for the preservation and management of historic sites based on a comprehensive plan for overhauling the sites of demolished Baekje temples. We conducted a survey of the sites of demolished temples, with the focus on those in Gongju, Buyeo, and Iksan, the central districts of the Baekje Kingdom. Buyeo was the first target of our site survey.

In Buyeo, there are many temple sites ranging from the Baekje to the Joseon Period, although most of them (25 sites) date back to the Baekje Period. During the colonial period, attempts were made to excavate or overhaul them, but they caused damage to the sites. We at the Buyeo National Institute of Cultural Heritage carried out an overall check of the status of these temple sites in Buyeo in an effort to improve the situation. In 2008, we published a report based on the results of the preliminary survey of the sites of Baekje, along with suggestions on how to preserve and overhaul them, as well as highlighting the need for further excavations/surveys. The report contained the following information based on the results of the surveys of 25 temple sites of Baekje in Buyeo-eup, Eunsan-myeon, and Gyuam-myeon: their locations, construction dates, and current status; possible ways of preserving and overhauling them; and maps showing how to get to them.

Now, we are planning to extend the survey to sites located in Gongju and Iksan and to invigorate the research on Baekje temples for the p