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Full set of gilt-bronze accessories unearthed from 5-6th century tomb

All News 14:52 September 03, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- A full set of accessories ranging from a gilt-bronze coronet to shoes has recently been discovered from a tomb believed to have been created 1,500 years ago, left as they were worn by the deceased at the time of burial, the cultural authorities said Thursday.

The Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said the accessories, including a gilt-bronze coronet, gold earrings, silver bracelets and a silver ring, were recently excavated from a Silla-era royal tomb complex in Gyeongju, some 371 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

They were in addition to the gilt-bronze shoes and coin-shaped gilt-bronze accessories found at the same tomb in May, it added.

The CHA said it is the first time that a full set of ornaments of a buried person has been excavated from a Silla-era tomb since the early 1970s.

The deceased buried in the Hwangnamdong Tumulus No. 120-2, presumed to be either an aristocrat or person of royal blood, wore a gilt-bronze coronet, a pair of earrings and a pair of gilt-bronze shoes, according to the CHA. A chestlace, belts, bracelets and rings were also found at the same time.

This undated photo, released by the Cultural Heritage Administration on Sept. 3, 2020, shows a silver belt, bracelets and rings unearthed from the Hwangnamdong Tumulus No. 120-2 from the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) in Gyeongju, southeastern South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

According to researchers, the gilt-bronze cap-like coronet features three tree-like branches and two antler-like prongs, with the outer band decorated with heart-shaped holes and jade and gold marbles.

Along with a pair of gold earrings and a beaded chestlace, the person also carries a silver belt and a handful of silver bracelets and rings.

One bracelet on the right wrist is embellished with more than 500 yellow beads about 1 millimeter small.

This undated photo, released by the Cultural Heritage Administration on Sept. 3, 2020, shows a gilt-bronze coronet, a pair of gold earrings and beaded chestlace unearthed from the Hwangnamdong Tumulus No. 120-2 from the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) in Gyeongju, southeastern South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Both pairs of shoes had T-shaped carve-out patterns on the surface, decorated each with gilt-bronze "dalgae," a bracelet-like ornament made with beads. Usually, shoes buried in ancient tombs of Silla were created for funeral ceremonies.

The CHA said the height of the owner of the tomb is estimated at 170 centimeter, as it is 176 cm from the middle of the gilt-bronze cap to the shoes. But the sex of the deceased was difficult to discern at the moment, it added.

"This is a small-sized tomb, but the owner has the full set of accessories. It is expected to be possessed by a noble or royal-blooded person," a researcher from the CHA said. "We've found many new things from this project. We will keep studying the case."

The excavation was part of a project between the CHA and the Gyeongju city aimed at restoring major historic ruins linked to the capital of the Silla dynasty.

Gyeongju is home to three UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites: Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, Yangdong Village, and the Gyeongju Historic Areas. Daereungwon is part of the Gyeongju Historic Areas.

This undated photo, released by the Cultural Heritage Administration on Sept. 3, 2020, shows a silver bracelet unearthed from the Hwangnamdong Tumulus No. 120-2 from the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) in Gyeongju, southeastern South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This undated photo, released by the Cultural Heritage Administration on Sept. 3, 2020, shows a pair of gold earrings unearthed from the Hwangnamdong Tumulus No. 120-2 from the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) in Gyeongju, southeastern South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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