LIFE&STYLE

Archeologist who proved Korean Old Stone Age dies

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  • Published : Nov 1, 2010 - 16:52
  • Updated : Nov 1, 2010 - 16:52

Sohn Pow-key, an archeologist who proved humans were living on the Korean Peninsula during the Paleolithic Age by excavating related artifacts, died in Seoul on Sunday. He was 88.

The former Yonsei University professor also proved that Korean movable metal type for printing had predated Germany’s Gutenberg press by more than 200 years.
Former Yonsei University history professor Sohn Pow-key  (Yonhap News)

From 1964 to 1974 when he was professor of history at Yonsei University and head of the university’s museum, Sohn excavated Paleolithic tools at Seokjang-ri in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province. It was the first archeological proof that prehistoric people lived on the Korean Peninsula. Sohn led 12 excavation activities there until 1992.

From 1974 to 1980, he discovered the Jeommal Cave in Jecheon in North Chungcheong Province that dates back to the Stone Age. It was the first such discovery in South Korea.

In 1972, Sohn received an award from the mayor of Mainz in Germany for proving Korea’s movable metal type predated the Gutenberg press. Sohn continued his study and published a book on Korean movable metal type in three different languages Korean, English and Japanese in 1982.

He retired from Yonsei University in 1987.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)