South Korean researchers said Thursday they have uncovered dozens of artifacts used in Buddhist ceremonies nearly a millennium ago, as they begin to unravel the mystery behind an ancient shrine where they were discovered.
The 77 artifacts include a vajra, a type of club with ribbed spherical heads, bells and censers thought to be from the Joseon era (1392-1910), or possibly even earlier.
Researchers at the Seoul Institute of Cultural Heritage were wrapping up an archaeological field survey on Dobong Seowon, a tiny shrine for two Joseon-era scholars in northern Seoul, when they came upon a pot containing the objects. Read more.
This diagnosis is 300 years too late.
An autopsy of a Korean mummy entombed in the 17th century shows that the middle-age man suffered from a potentially painful hernia during his lifetime, according to a new study.
The mummy, only discovered last year, had been buried in a royal tomb of Korea’s Chosun (or Joseon) Dynasty in Andong, a city in modern-day South Korea. The well-preserved remains belonged to a man who was about 45 years old and 5 feet, 3 inches (160.2 cm), the researchers said in their report published this month in the journal PLOS ONE. Based on his topknot hairstyle, archaeologists concluded that the man was married. Read more.
President Obama’s trip to South Korea included a return delivery of nine ancient royal seals taken by a U.S. soldier during the Korean War six decades ago.
"I wanted to just let the Korean people know that they’re back where they belong," Obama said during an event Friday in Seoul. "And this is a symbol, hopefully, of the respect that we have for Korean culture and our friendship. They’re very beautiful."
Obama said that, during the war, a Marine found the seals and took them to the United States as mementos. “I don’t think he fully appreciated the historic significance of them,” Obama said. Read more.
A poetic love letter written by a mourning Korean wife that was found beside the mummified body of the woman’s husband has grabbed the limelight many a time since its discovery more than a decade ago.
Archaeologists at Andong National University found a 16th century male mummy in Andong City in South Korea in 2000. Along with it was a heart-rending letter written by the dead man’s pregnant wife who poured out her grief into what has become a testament of loss, lamentation and berievement.
The 5-feet-9-inches mummy was identified as that of Eung-tae, after a total of 13 letters addressed to that name were found in the tomb.
But one letter, a love poem written by his wife in old Latin and addressed to “Won’s Father”, depict the state of a love-lorn widow left in the world alone with a child in the womb. Read more.
A recovered stolen cultural artifact from South Korea that Detroit homeland security agents helped find has been returned, officials announced Tuesday.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit returned the Hojo currency plate, looted during the Korean War from the Deoksu Palace in Seoul. The South Korean government received the plate Tuesday during a repatriation ceremony, marking the first time ICE has returned a cultural artifact to the country.
The Hojo currency plate dates back to 1893 during the Joseon Dynasty. It is one of only three in existence.
Homeland Security Investigations special agents in Detroit conducted an investigation that led to the plate’s seizure in New York. Read more.
A hat which belonged to South Korea’s most revered monarch King Sejong has been recovered more than 500 years after it was looted by Japanese invaders, a senior scholar said Wednesday.
Apart from its intrinsic value as an historical relic, the discovery has thrilled scholars after documents were found stitched inside the hat carrying explanations of King Sejong’s greatest legacy — the Hangeul alphabet.
The monarch known as Sejong the Great ruled from 1418-1450. His reign had a profound impact on Korean history with the introduction of the Hangeul phonetic alphabet that replaced classical Chinese characters.
Hangeul vastly increased literacy — previously restricted to the top scholarly class — and remains the official script of both South and North Korea. Read more.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s archaeological agency says it has unearthed evidence of East Asia’s oldest known farming site.
Archaeologist Cho Mi-soon said Wednesday that the agency has found the remains of a farming field from the Neolithic period on South Korea’s east coast. The site may be up to 5,600 years old. That’s more than 2,000 years older than what is now the second-oldest known site, which also is in South Korea.
During the Neolithic period humans began living in permanent settlements and farming after a previous nomadic existence of hunting and gathering.
Cho points to traces of pottery and house remains found at the site as proof of its age. She says material was tested and determined to be from the Neolithic period. (source)