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6th century items unearthed in Hanam

Posted July. 25, 2000 19:26,   


Remains showing living culture of Koguryo ((B.C.37-A.D.668) people were unearthed for the first time in Hanam, southeast of Seoul. The excavated items include a changgu, a measure, wooden tablets and wooden Buddhist rosary beads.

These remains of the sixth century were excavated by a Hanyang University Museum team led by Prof. Pae Ki-Dong at a reservoir in the Isong Fortress in Chungung-dong, Hanam, Kyonggi-do.

The excavation team believes the unearthed items are Koguryo remains in that they were found in the level where wooden tablets in which the name of Koguryo official`s post "yoksal" was written was excavated.

Among the remains was an musical instrument, called "yogo," a drum. The yogo, the original form of "changgo," is 42cm long, and the diameters of both sides is 16cm each and has a neck in the middle like changgo the neck`s diameter is 7cm and is smaller than the present changgu. It has been learned that the left side of yogo is beaten by a stick and the right by a hand.

This excavation is evaluated as a very precious remain for the research of Korean music history as well as for the study of Koguryo culture.The measure found this time is also the first of its kind from Koguryo Kingdom. Part of it was destroyed and the remainder is 35cm long. So far, the Japanese academic circle has insisted that there was no measure in Koguryo. The finding this time is expected to reverse the Japanese claim. The wooden tablets on the surface of which Chinese characters like "yoksal" are written has been unearthed first as the Koguryo one. The remains were comparatively well preserved as they were buried in the wetland of the reservoir.

Isong Fortress where the remains were unearthed was a strategic point along the Han River the three ancient kingdoms had battled to occupy. Previously, remains of Silla Kingdom were mainly excavated. With the excavation of Koguryo remains this time, the excavation team presumed that the fortress might be Koguryo`s.

Lee Kwawg-Pyo kplee@donga.com