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Gyodong Songhyeon-dong Ancient Tomb

Ancient Tombs in Gyo-dong
Ancient Tombs in Gyo-dong

  • Address : (next to Changnyeong Museum) 87-1, Gyo-ri, Changnyeong-eup, Changnyeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
These ancient tombs located in Gyo-ri and Songhyeon-ri of Changnyeong-eup,
below the Mokpa Fortress at the bottom of Mt. Hwawang, were first discovered in 1911 by a Japanese scholar named Sekino Tadashi. Starting with the distribution survey in 1917, excavations carried out from 1918 to 1919 unearthed 11 ancient tombs but no reports on these tombs except for the tombs no. 21 and no. 31, were issued.

The investigators gave different numbers for the tombs during that time and currently it is difficult to figure out which tombs were investigated and which artifacts belonged to which tombs. The unearthed potteries and golden crafts are believed to have filled 20 carriages and 2 freight cars but it is currently unknown where the artifacts, except for the artifacts stored in the National Museum of Korea and Tokyo National Museum, are stored.

In 1992, Dong-A University Museum excavated Tomb No.1~No.4 and obtained data that could clarify the structure of hoegushik seoksil (a stone chamber tomb with one entrance on the side) and how different materials were used for different sections of the tombs. The excavation also discovered potteries and metal artifacts and provided valuable data for understanding and studying tombs in the Changnyeong region. In 2004, an in-depth archaeological field survey was carried out for the first time since the field survey of ancient tombs in Gyo-dong was carried out by the Japanese in 1917. The survey unearthed 65 additional ancient tombs.

Also, the excavation survey which had been carried out on Tomb No.6 and 7 in Songhyeon-dong since 2002 by the Gyeongnam Institute of Cultural Properties (2002~2004) and Gaya National Institute of Cultural Heritage (2004~2006), unearthed 280 potteries, boat-shaped camphor tree coffin, around 90 ironwares, accessories, saddles, weapons, farming tools and over 100 pieces of wooden tools and attracted a lot of attention of the academic world. In an excavation survey carried out between 2006 to 2008, large-sized Tomb No. 15 and 16 and medium-sized Tomb No. 17 and seven small stone coffins were studies. The tombs No. 15·16·17 had already been robbed but the investigators were able to acquire data on architectural methods. Also, joint, multi-disciplinary, restoration research on the 4 corpses found in Tomb No. 15 was a significantly meaningful event for the archaeological community.

So far, a gilt bronze crown, gold and silver accessories, silver crown ornaments, silver earrings, saddles and other various horse equipments, decorative weapons, scale armors, iron weapons, U-shape shovel blades, farming tools and metal containers have been excavated from the ancient tombs in Gyo-dong and Songhyeon-dong. Most of the artifacts are similar to those that have been excavated in Gyeongju and the tombs are presumed to have been built in the 5-6th century.

The ancient tombs in Gyo-dong and Songhyeon-dong were designated as Historical Site No.80 and No.81, respectively, on January 21, 1963 but on July 27, 2011, the ancient tombs of both areas were together newly designated as Historical Site No. 514 under the name ‘Ancient Tombs in Gyo-dong and Songhyeon-dong of Changnyeong’.