Hidden History of Ancient Tombs in Imdang-dong
Hidden History of Ancient Tombs in Imdang-dong
  • Shin Hye-bin
  • 승인 2022.09.07 15:24
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Ancient earthenware (Provided by Yeungnam University Museum)
Ancient earthenware (Provided by Yeungnam University Museum)

  Located in Gyeongsan, Imdang-dong’s ancient tombs are believed to be related to the small ancient kingdom of Apdok-kuk, which the Silla Kingdom later conquered. Archaeological excavations began in February 1982 after it became known that grave robbers were stealing relics. Important cultural properties such as pottery, horse accessories, gilt-bronze crowns, and silver belts were discovered and became known to the worldwide.
  It is estimated that this group of tombs was built in the late 5th or early 6th century, judging from the earthenware and various antiquities. Also, the tomb’s owner was likely the highest ruler of Apdok-kuk at the time.
  The Yeungnam Observer interviewed Kim Dae-wook, a curator at Yeungnam University Museum, to get more information about the ancient tombs in Imdang-dong. First, The Observer asked if there was any particular reason for the excavation by YU Museum after the tomb was discovered. Curator Kim replied that the YU Museum was close to the historical site at the time. And at that time, there were not many institutions that could perform the excavation, but the YU Museum had experience. 
  Second, The Observer asked about the use of the representative ‘horse head ornamental bent-legged bowl’ found in the tomb. Curator Kim replied that the relics can be divided into three main categories: relics representing ancestral rites, items symbolizing hierarchical order, and those intended to be used in the afterlife. And he replied that ‘horse head ornamental bent-legged bowl’ was originally a representative ritual relic. He also said that this bowl was expected to contain ritual food. According to research, the people of Apdok-kuk had the idea that life continued even after a person died. So, it could be expected that there was a custom of serving masters even after death.
The Observer asked about the similarities between Apdok-kuk, and Silla relics. According to historical data, the centers of Silla and Apdok-guk were geographically close. So various accessories, weapons, and earthenware were similar. Still, there are unique and original Apdok-kuk aspects in the tomb construction detail.
  Lastly, curator Kim said that the YU Museum is currently researching human and animal bones excavated from tombs in Imdang-dong. He said that it would be good to have a lot of interest in the Imdang-dong Tombs as many research results are currently being discovered.

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