Excavation Survey

Archeological Excavation Survey of Historic Site in Bogam-ri, Naju

Name of Remains Archeological Excavation Survey of Historic Site in Bogam-ri, Naju
Category Archeological excavation survey of remains
Survey period 2006 ~
Description -

As a part of the academic research aimed at defining the political system of the jar-coffin society, Historical Site No. 404 Naju Bogamni Ancient Tombs and their surroundings have been surveyed since 2006.

The survey of the Historic Site of Bogam-ri aims to define the scope of construction and the characteristics of ancient tombs and to confirm the stronghold of the tombs' constructors, thereby shedding the existing research, with the focus on the Ancient Tombs in Bogam-ri and the Ancient Tombs in Bannam among other large ancient tombs, and to define the way of life of the period in question and acquire improved survey data.

From 2006~2008, the area 200m northeast of the Ancient Tombs in Bogam-ri was surveyed, revealing four tombs with a gutter-surrounded mound, four jar-coffin tombs, twelve pit remains, four ironware furnace sites, and one pilotis-supported building site. Excavated from the ironware remains and pit remains were massive iron slag, forged fragments, and furnace wall fragments, suggesting that there was an iron-ware production base to the east of the Ancient Tombs in Bogam-ri. In addition, massive Baekje wooden tablets were excavated from a large circle pit (No. 1 pit), along with inscribed pottery and ink stones. The wooden tablets were the first to be excavated from an area outside than Baekje's central area (Sabi), and thus attracted keen attention from academic circles.

From 2009~2011, the areas north of the Ancient Tombs in Bogam-ri and south of the Historic Site in Rang-dong were surveyed, revealing three trapezoid tomb foundations, one presumed square tomb foundation, four wells, two tile dump sites, and various pits and circle trenches. Further trapezoid tombs were presumably constructed in this area. Also excavated from the foundations were fragments of various ritual potteries and decorative cylindrical potteries.

These surveys have confirmed the scope of tomb construction east of the Ancient Tombs in Bogam-ri, and provided insightful research data on the history of Baekje.

Through a further survey of the area, the scope and trends of tomb construction by period, as well as lifestyle relics from that period will be identified to obtain data that will define the comprehensive characteristics of the remains and the ancient cultures of the Yeongsangang River area.


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image Distant view of the remains
image Complete view of the survey area
image Exposed No. 3-2 jar-coffin
image Exposed forging furnace
image Complete view of pit remains
image Cow bones found inside the remains
image Relics(inkstone) found near the foundations
image Slag from the forging furnace
image Thirty-two wooden tablets
image Three wooden items
image A complete view of the No.1 pit after the survey
image Inscribed pottery and ironware related remains
image Wooden tablets
image Complete view of the remains of buried cattle
image Complete view of the trapezoid tombs and remains
image Excavated jars

Exploratory Excavation Survey of Kiln Site in Oryang-dong, Naju

Name of Remains Exploratory Excavation Survey of Kiln Site in Oryang-dong, Naju
Category Remains test excavation survey
Survey period 2007 ~
Description -

As a part of the project to restore the ancient manufacturing technology for large jar-coffins, a survey of the Kiln Site in Oryang-dong, Naju (Historical Site No. 456), presumably a large jar-coffin kiln site, was carried out.

The remains were surveyed in 2001 by the Dongshin University Museum of Culture, and were designated as important remains in 2004 under an effort to define the Yeongsangang River area's large jar-coffin production bases in the Three Kingdoms period. However, due to the limited area excavation, it has yet to be determined whether the excavated kiln was a large jar coffin kiln or an ordinary pottery kiln. Thus, to define the characteristics of the Kiln Site in Oryang-dong, Naju and to secure the basic materials necessary for restoring the ancient jar production and distribution process in the Yeongsangang River area, this mid- and long-term survey has been conducted since 2007.

Five surveys conducted since 2011 have revealed 33 kilns, one abandoned kiln site, one worksite, and the remains of ten tombs. Archeological excavations were carried out on eight kilns, an abandoned kiln site, a worksite, the remains of ten tombs, pits, and trench remains, for a total of twenty-five items. Large fragments of jar coffins and pottery fragments were also excavated from the area. The research findings have confirmed that the kilns were designed to bake the kind of large jar-coffins used in the Yeongsangang River area. Notably, at the front of Kiln No. 5 (third survey), one third of a large jar coffin was discovered, confirming the characteristics of the kiln. The remains found there suggest that from the 5th century to the early 6th century, massive jar coffin production bases were clustered there. Also, certain tombs, which were constructed by destroying some of the kilns, date back to the period after the mid-6th century, suggesting the possible date or period in which the kilns were operated.

These surveys have clearly defined the characteristics of the kiln remains, and provided specific research materials for the production and distribution of a large number of large jar coffins distributed in the midstream area of the Yeongsangang River.

Not only hilly areas within the historical site but also nearby grain belt areas will be surveyed to define the overall distribution of the kilns and the distribution and formation of large jar coffins, thereby securing materials to define the comprehensive characteristics of the remains and ancient culture of the Yeongsangang River area.


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image Complete view of the remains
image Distribution of remains (2007~09 Surveys)
image Complete view of the surveyed area
image View of Kiln Nos. 1~3 (Second survey, 2008)
image Floor of Kiln No. 1 in the second survey
image Complete view of the ancient tombs in the second survey
image No. 1 jar coffin in the first survey
image Array of relics excavated from tombs in the secondary survey
image Complete view of kiln Nos. 4 and 5 (Third survey, 2009)
image Kiln No. 1 in the third survey
image Complete view of the abandoned kiln ion the thire survey
image Relics excavated from the abandoned kiln site in the third survey
image Layout of Kiln Nos. 1-4 in Oryang-dong, Naju
image Complete view of the kiln (Third survey, 2009)
image Jar coffins excavated from Kiln No. 4, front area (Third survey, 2009)
image Jar coffins excavated from the abandoned kiln site (Third survey, 2009)
image Complete view of Kiln Nos. 21 and 22 (Fourth survey, 2010)
image Construction state of floor of Kiln No. 22 (Fourth survey, 2010)
image JComplete view of the kilns (Fifth survey, 2011)

Hoejinseong Fortress Test Excavation

Name of Remains Hoejinseong Fortress Test Excavation
Category Remains test excavation survey
Survey period 2006 ~
Description -

Hoejinseong Fortress in Naju was recognized as the Jeonnam region's representative fortress from the Baekje period, and was designated as Jeollanam-do Local Monument No. 87 in 1986. The 1994 Chonnam University Museum survey of destroyed stone-chamber tombs in Nammunji and outside the fortress (after the 6th century) suggested that they were originally constructed in the Baekje Period, and further that they possibly date back to the Mahan period. However, scholars adopted a cautious position with regard to the date of construction and purpose of the fortress.

Thus, to further define the fortress and secure basic data for its restoration, we conducted surveys based on the earth used in a Gaetoje rite in July 2006 to 2009".

Three separate surveys of the southern ramparts and some areas inside the fortress site identified the construction method used for the ramparts, and three kilns (one tile kiln and two hemp boiling kilns, created after the fortress ceased functioning). Pottery wares, tiles (inscribed tiles and plain tiles), and ceramics were excavated there. Notably, the third survey (2008~2009) confirmed the presence of rows of two-story stone foundations inside and outside the fortress, traces of wooden columns, central earth works and external horizontal filled layers, supplementary stone rows, and external earth works. In addition, massive tiles with the inscription Hoejinhyeon daeseong jagaeu were excavated from the tile layers, confirming the existence of Hoejinhyeon as specified in literature.

The three surveys were insufficient to cover all the remains, but the construction method and remains suggest that the fortress was originally built at the end of the Unified Silla Period, and used until the end of Goryeo Period. This offers more insightful research data on Hoejinseong Fortress. In addition, further surveys will be conducted to excavate the interior areas of the fortress and sections of its ramparts, thus securing specific data on section-to-section construction methods and purposes, and further defining the ancient culture of the Yeongsangang River area, which had previously been regarded as little more than a peripheral area of Baekje.


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image Hoejinseong floor-plan and cross-section
image Distant view of remains
image Complete view of surveyed area
image C3 trench
image D5 trench rampart stylobate stones
image Southern ramparts in the third survey
image Southern rampart earth work in the third survey
image Inscribed Tile in Hoejinhyeon in the third survey

Square Ancient Tomb Excavation Survey

Name of Remains Square Ancient Tomb Excavation Survey
Category Remains test excavation
Survey period 2009 ~ 2010
Description -

The Square Ancient Tombs in Ogya-ri, Yeongam are located at #159-2, Ogya-ri, Sijong-myeon, Yeongam-gun, Jeollanam-do. The tombs are situated on low hills just 15m above sea level, behind the Jangdong Village. A number of tomb clusters are dispersed around the remains including the Ancient Tombs in Naedong-ri, the Ancient Tombs in Ogya-ri, the Ancient Tombs in Mansu-ri, the Jar-coffin Tombs in Wau-ri, the Twin Tombs in Naedong-ri, the Ancient Tombs in Sinyeon-ri, and the Jarabong Ancient Tombs.

These ancient tomb areas have not been properly preserved. In 2008, even during agricultural cultivation, jar coffin fragments and flat bowls were discovered there.

To prevent any further damage to the remains and to define their characteristics and acquire the basic data required for securing and restoring the remains, we conducted emergency test excavation surveys in 2009. In 2009, we test excavated the main foundations around the remains, confirming their size and the tomb mound types. Flat cylindrical potteries were excavated from these tombs. Two surveys (100 days of surveying) from April 15 ~ November 24, 2010 and from March 25 ~ May 25, 2011 sought to define the construction methods used for the tomb mounds, their sizes, the relationship between tomb mounds and foundations, the tomb builders, and the establishment period of cylindrical potteries, among other characteristics of the Okyari square ancient tombs.

The 2009 ~ 2011 surveys revealed the following: First, the square tomb mound measured 29.98m in the north-south direction and 26.3m in the east-west direction (based on the remaining parts), and had an estimated height of 3.7m, making it a web-like compartmental earth tomb, and indicating a certain linkage between the Yeongsangang River area and the Gaya region.

Second, as regards the burial remains, one stone-chamber tomb, one stone-lined tomb, three jar-coffin tombs (two twin types and one single jar type), and a wooden-coffin tomb were discovered there. In the central stone chamber, four wooden columns were erected on both walls; this was the first time such a construction method was discovered in the Yeongsangang River area, although similar examples have been discovered in Gaya areas such as Gyo-dong in Changnyeong, Daeseong-dong in Gimhae, and Yangdong-ri in Gimhae. This distinctive structure offers valuable research data on the Yeongsangang River area tomb system.

Third, diverse relics such as cylindrical pottery, short-necked jars, long-necked jars, iron axes and iron knives were excavated from the burial remains and foundations. Notably, the excavation of large quantities of cylindrical pottery items, which were placed at the tomb mound's edges after constructing the stone chamber tombs, offers very insightful research data concerning the funeral rituals of the ancient tomb builders of the Yeongsangang River area.


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image Distant View of Ancient Tombs in Jang-dong
image Aerial View of Ancient Tombs in Jang-dong
image Cylindrical Pottery Base
image Cylindrical Pottery Front
image Square Ancient Tombs in Ogya-ri, Yeongam
image Aerial View of Square Ancient Tombs in Ogya-ri, Yeongam
image Square Ancient Stone-chamber Tomb in Ogya-ri, Yeongam (from the east)
image Square Ancient Stone-chamber Tomb West Wall in Ogya-ri, Yeongam (from the east)
image Square Stone-lined Ancient Tomb in Ogya-ri, Yeongam (from the east)
image No. 1 Jar Coffin Tomb in the Square Ancient Tombs Area in Ogya-ri, Yeongam
image No. 2 Jar Coffin Tomb in the Square Ancient Tombs Area in Ogya-ri, Yeongam (from the north)
image No. 3 Jar Coffin Tomb in the Square Ancient Tombs Area in Ogya-ri, Yeongam (from the east)
image Jar Coffin Tomb in the Square Ancient Tombs Area in Ogya-ri, Yeongam (from the west)

Hoengsan Ancient Tomb Excavation Survey

Name of Remains Hoengsan Ancient Tomb Excavation Survey
Category Remains excavation survey
Survey period 2006 ~ 2007
Description -

The Ancient Tombs are located at #216, Donggok-ri, Dasi-myeon, Naju-si, Jeollanam-do. Emergency excavation surveys were conducted to define the sizes and characteristics of these ancient tombs, and to secure the basic materials required for improving and restoring the remains.

The research findings revealed that the tomb mounds and foundations were significantly damaged due to the cultivation of orchards and agricultural lands, but confirmed the building process for three tomb mounds, three jar coffin tombs, one stone-lined tomb with side door, and one bronze-period square residential site.

Notably, of the jar coffin tombs, upright jar coffins were discovered at both edges of the tomb mound. The residential site from the first half of the Bronze Age, discovered at the tomb mound's bottom, is a very rare finding in the Jeollanam-do region, and thus constitutes an important material of understanding the internal residential site structure.

The excavated relics consist mainly of wooden wares, such as ancient tomb-related lidded cups, small jars with a hole and broad mouth, residential wooden wares with lip carved designs, and wooden wares with hole designs. Flint arrowheads, stone axes, and wood wares were also discovered there.

The construction date of these ancient tombs is presumed to be around the 4th - 6th centuries, while the residential areas date back to the first half of the Bronze Age.


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image Remains prior to survey
image GRP exploration prior to survey
image Post-survey remains
image North-south earth layers
image East-west earth layers
image No. 1 jar coffin
image No. 2 jar coffin
image No. 3 jar coffin
image Stone-lined tomb with side door
image Residential area
image Wooden wares excavated from residential areas
image Pottery with hole designs excavated from residential areas

Excavation survey of Yamak Tombs in Goheung

Name of Remains Yamak Tombs in Goheung
Category Remains excavation survey
Survey period 2012
Survey Data Summary report
Description -

The Yamak Tombs (Jeollanam-do Cultural Heritage No. 218) are tombs that date back to the Three-Kingdoms Period in Pungyang-myeon, Goheung-gun, Jeollanam-do. An excavation survey of the site was carried out between May-December 2012 as part of the Academic Research on Polities Associated with the Jar Coffin Tombs of this Institute.

As a result of the survey, the surface of the burial chamber inside of the tombs was covered with stones. There were 220 items that were unearthed, including a Chinese-made bronze mirror; iron armor; a visor; swords; spears; arrow tips,; and accessories, such as a jade ring and curved jade..

One notable thing about the Yamak Tombs is that the stones covering the surface of the burial chamber and the stone-chamber are thought to be associated with those used in ancient tombs in Japan. The armor, visor, and iron arrow tips that were unearthed are also thought to be associated with those found in Japan. All of this indicates significant evidence of the connection between Korea and Japan in ancient times.

The Chinese-made bronze mirror has a pattern of a double-headed dragon on its back and is inscribed with the letters “位至三公” (a phrase used to wish for someone to become a high government official). It is said that such bronze mirrors were mostly made in the northern regions of China, including in Luoyang, during the 3rd and 4th centuries (toward the end of the Wei and the early West Jin Periods).

As such, the Yamak Tombs display a strong foreign influence. Their features have been compared to those found in tombs in Haenam, Goheung, Yeosu, Sacheon, Goseong, and Geojedo, which are places along the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. They are believed to be important sites by those who are studying the relationship between sites on the Korean Peninsula and in China or Japan.


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image A view of the historic site
image A view of stones covering the burial chamber of the tombs
image A view of the burial chamber
image Relics that have been unearthed
image Armor and visor exposed
image Armor and visor unearthed
image A close-up view of the unearthed bronze mirror
image Bronze mirror

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Asia Cooperation Program on Conservation Science Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea National Palace Museum of Korea Korea National Commission for UNESCO