Key roles

Comprehensive Studies on the Gaya Culture in East Jeollabuk-do

The Wanju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage is conducting "comprehensive academic research on the Gaya culture in the eastern part of Jeollabuk-do." The Jeollabuk-do region can be broadly divided into the eastern mountainous belt and the western plains. In particular, the eastern region encompassing Namwon and Jangsu is the home of the once prosperous Gaya culture. Increasing emphasis on the identity of the ancient culture and cultural heritage shared by the provinces of Gyeongsang and Jeolla has led to more active research on the Gaya remains in Jeolla province. In 2019, the Institute participated in a joint excavation of the ancient tombs of Cheonggye-ri, Namwon together with the Naju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. The remains are located at the foot of the mountain ridge, not far from the ancient tombs of Wolsan-ri, Yugok-ri and Durak-ri, which are situated in the Ayeong basin of the Yubong plateau. Three stone-lined tombs arranged in a T-shape were discovered close to the mountain ridge, but, unfortunately, the key relics had disappeared. However, the excavation paved the way to the discovery of a wide variety of artifacts, such as wheel-patterned earthenware related to Ara Gaya, trivets and dishes from Dae Gaya, and wooden combs suggesting ancient trade links with Japan. Furthermore, the detailed information that has been collected about the construction of these ancient tombs is also a critical material for understanding the tombs in the nearby Gaya region. We at the Institute are planning to unearth ancient tombs in Yugok-ri and Durak-ri, Namwon, which have come under the spotlight due to the designation of the Gaya ancient tombs as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, carry out academic research to identify the range of the artifacts thereof, and conduct a survey on the distribution of Gaya relics in Jeollabuk-do. The Institute will disclose the findings of these studies to the general public and do everything it can to discover, preserve, and utilize the Gaya relics found in the region.

Comprehensive research into the ancient culture near the Mangyeonggang River

The Wanju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage is pushing ahead with "comprehensive research into the ancient culture near the Mangyeonggang River" to ascertain the nature of the ancient culture of western Jeollabuk-do. The river, which traverses northern Jeollabuk-do from east to west, witnessed the prosperity of the bronze ware culture from prehistoric times and the introduction of iron from Gojoseon and other regions. As such, the basin can be viewed as a cultural middle ground that once connected Mahan to Baekjae. With advanced cultures and tools flowing into the region, it naturally produced a flourishing, sophisticated culture. Among the many relics discovered during the development of Jeonju Innovation City, it was the Wanju Galdong artifacts that attracted the most attention. The slender bronze dagger and cast, and the bronze mirror unearthed from the Pit burial were recognized as valuable relics and designated as Treasure and Treasure, respectively, in July 2019. The Institute plans to conduct comprehensive research into the culture that developed from prehistoric times to Mahan around the Mangyonggang River, which was the center of an ancient civilization. Specific plans include the excavation and on-site scale investigation of major artifacts, including those from Wanju galdong, and in-depth studies on the regional aspects of marine trade and the routes by which ironware, bronze, beads, and other commodities were introduced into the region.

Studies on the modern architectural heritage in Jeollabuk-do

The Wanju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage is currently engaged in "studies on the modern architectural heritage of Jeollabuk-do" with a view to preserving what remains of that heritage. As a result of rapid industrialization and the emergence of the Saemaeul Movement in the second half of the twentieth century, a large part of South Korea's modern architectural heritage was destroyed in the name of economic development, without any proper studies ever being conducted, which means there is still a pressing need for research by state-run organizations. Thus far, various listings have been made of the non-designated modern architectural heritage in Jeollabuk-do, including the non-designated structural heritage in 2006, and the works of architects, public administrative, exercise and educational facilities from 2013 to 2017. However, the investigations were selectively based on registers or major buildings, leaving the small and medium-sized structures dispersed throughout smaller towns unchecked. SAs such, the Institute intends to conduct on-site inspections of old houses and pavilions, along with religious, work and commercial buildings, and to make records thereof.

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