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Myeongjong’s Placenta Chamber designated as a treasure

Myeongjong’s Placenta Chamber designated as a treasure

Posted March. 27, 2018 08:11,   

Updated March. 27, 2018 08:11


The Placenta Chamber of King Myeongjong (1534-1657), the 13th king of the Joseon Dynasty, has been designated as a Treasure. The Cultural Heritage Administration announced on Monday that “the Placenta Chamber and Placenta Chamber Monument of King Myeongjong” in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, were designated as the nation’s Treasure No. 1976. During the Joseon Dynasty, the placentas of the royal heirs were stored at the auspicious sites, among which the Placenta Chambers of King Sejong’s sons located in Seongju had been named as the country’s Historic Site No. 444. This is the first time that a placenta chamber has been preserved as a Treasure.

Alongside the Placenta Chamber, “the Placenta Chamber Monument of Daegunchunryeong agissi (prince)” was also established in 1538 (the 33rd year of King Jungjong’s reign). In 1546, a year after King Myeongjong ascended to the throne, the “Placenta Chamber Monument of Jusangjeonha (king)” was built, and another one under the same name was additionally made in 1711.

The Placenta Chamber is surrounded by octagon-shaped stone parapets. A Placenta Jar enshrined in the Chamber as well as a memorial stone on which the deceased’s personal information is written were moved to Seosamleung in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, around 1928 during the Japanese colonial rule. Since excavated as a result of an investigation by the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage in 1996, they have been in the custody of the National Palace Museum of Korea. “The Placenta Chamber of King Myeongjong is historically valuable as it is well documented in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty and the surroundings are well preserved,” said an official from the Cultural Heritage Administration.

Won-Mo Yu onemore@donga.com