The Korea Herald


Large Baekje cemetery discovered on southern island

By 윤민식

Published : Feb. 13, 2013 - 20:40

    • Link copied

Archeologists have discovered 38 graves from the sixth to seventh century on an island off of South Korea's southern coast, which were hailed as a rare find, even in the country's inland areas.

The graves were part of the Baekje cemetery on Sangtae Island off Sinan, 410 kilometers south of Seoul, and were first discovered on a field survey conducted by a regional university from 1986 to 1987. Baekje was an ancient Korean kingdom that existed in the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula from 18 BC to 668 AD.

But it was more than two decades later that archeologists of the private Mahan Culture Research Center had a precise surface survey and an excavation survey to know how many graves were there and what structure they had.

The research center said Wednesday it had the excavation survey on six of the 38 graves and found that all of them were stone chamber tombs with huge stone ceilings, a feature which sets them apart from other Baekje-era graves.

Jo Geun-woo, head of the research center, said the latest surveys provided a good chance to study the diversity of graves of that period and how they were changed.

"It's suprising that a large cemetery that can hardly be found even in inland areas of South Jeolla Province was discovered on an southwestern island," he added. (Yonhap News)