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Earliest monument from Silla Kingdom to go on permanent display in Gyeongju

Silla Monument in Jungseong-ri, Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province (CHA)
Silla Monument in Jungseong-ri, Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province (CHA)

The Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage under the Cultural Heritage Administration announced Monday that it will start exhibiting the Silla Monument in Jungseong-ri, Pohang from Dec. 8 at a permanent exhibition hall in Gyeongju National Museum.

The artifact from the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-935) was designated as National Treasure No. 318 on April 22, 2015. The artifact was accidentally discovered at a road construction site in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, in May 2009.

The monument is the oldest extant Silla monument in Korea. It is estimated to have been created in 501, two years earlier than the Silla Monument in Naengsu-ri, Pohang, which was erected in the fourth year of the reign of King Jijeung. The monument found in Naeungsu-ri was designated as National Treasure No. 264 in 1991.

The stone monument, measuring 49 centimeters in width, 104 cm in height and 12-13 millimeters in thickness, weighs 115 kilograms.

A total of 203 characters are engraved on Silla Monument in Jungseong-ri, Pohang. According to the CHA’s analysis, the characters on the monument provide valuable information on the social culture of the Silla Kingdom, such as its official rank system, the internal structure of the local governing system, as well as dispute settlement procedures between central and local governments.

Previously, the monument was shown only for brief periods at a time.

Silla Monument in Jungseong-ri, Pohang was showcased to the public for eight days in the first exhibition following its discovery. It was also exhibited to the public for a short time in 2018.

The CHA said the decision to put it on permanent display was made so as to share and promote the values and information the monument contains.

By Song Seung-hyun (