The remains of a 180-centimeter man were found in the fifth or sixth-century tomb of Silla in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. It is the tallest human bones of the Three Kingdoms’ era that had been discovered by far. Almost all bones of the 1500-plus-year-old human remains were excavated, which is unusual.
The Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation announced on Thursday that the remains of a 180-centimeter man were found in the excavation of the wood coffin tomb No. 2 in Tap-dong, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. Experts believe that the remains belong to a male based on the anatomical structure of the pelvic bones. Another man whose remains were found in Wolseong, Gyeongju is estimated to be 165 to 167 centimeters.
The newly discovered remains featured the tucked chin toward the chest and the bent collarbone and spine. “The deformation of the collarbone and spine seems to have been caused by the process of putting the body into a coffin, which was designed to fit the average height of the Silla era,” said Kim Heon-seok, an official at the Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. The research institute is considering several possibilities for the cause of spine deformation, including aging, occupation, and the storage of the body.
The remains had been well-preserved for a long time as they were buried in a low-lying wetland. In such a landscape, moist mud covers a body at once, blocking out the air.
The excavation team believes that the remains belong to a person of a lower class, as there was no sight of weapon or expensive ornament around them.