The stone lantern was made of stone to light and occupied an important position as well as the stone pagoda and stupa. It represented the hope and also was called as a votive lantern or prospect lantern because of the meaning of sacrifice. In the Korean Peninsula, the stone lantern began to be made from the period of the Three States and the study shows that fact through the important factors of foundation stones and support stones remained in the ancient ruined temple, but the ancient stone lanterns up to now verified are all limited to temple stone lanterns.
It was written in the early Sutras, 『Ekottara gama (增一阿含經)』that lotus lantern sacrifice was stressed to build the charity. In the 6th century, as 『Prad pad n ya-s tra (佛說施燈功德經)』and 『Karmavibha ga-n ma-dharmagrantha-stra (佛爲首迦長者說業報着別徑)』were published, the lantern sacrifice was held in high repute. This kind of lantern sacrifice was recorded in the book, 『Sam-kuk-you-sa』and it said that Ohjin stretched his arms to the temple, Bu-seok-sa to perform lantern sacrifice. And also, it was produced to aim at King's health, present age saving, and it had the character of defense of nation, which was written in the book,『Dong-mun-sun(東文選)』,「Shilla-su-chang-kun-ho-kuk-sung-pa
This thesis examines not only the structure of the stone lantern, but also the type of the stone lantern through the Hwasaseok, Okgaeseok, and Yeonhwadaeseok centering around Kanjuseok. Thinking these facts collectively, the formative character of Unified Shilla stone lantern is researched and as the period of the Unified Shilla stone lantern is set, the changes of the form can be examined. through the Buddhist image Daejaseok and stupa stereobate. The object of the research is to find the formation object of stone lantern and symbolism of stone lantern as a sacrifice.
Up to now, the number of the Korean stone lanterns is about 280 and that of Unified Shilla is around 90 and among them, Wanhyoungseok is totally 24. These 24 stone lanterns are divided into 4 categories. The first specific difference is Ganjuseok. The octagon Ganjuseok-type is 14, the double-lion-type is 3, Yeonsim-type is 6, and person-type is 1. Second, the formation of Hwasaseok is divided into three categories whether how many light windows are and embossed sculpture exists or not. Third, the type of Okgaeseok is divided into 3 categories whether the decoration on the top is or not. Finally, Yeonhwadaeseok which flower patterns, Gueflower, and Yupmoon are scarved on the Yeonpan is divided into 5 categories. With these clarification, there is difference in the structure. What is the most different is the form of the smoke hole. The octagon Ganjuseok stone lantern differs in the structure of the foundation stones and support stones, and a coupling scheme of the upper parts. The double-lion-type stone lantern has difference in the structure of the Hadaehaseok and Hadaesangseok, and Ganjuseok prop. Yeonsim-type stone lantern are distinguished from the structure of the Sangdaeseok and Hadaeseok. The complete stone lanterns of Unified Shilla can be divided into 4 period from early 9th century to 10th century. Especially, in the 9th century, the stone lanterns were intensively made, and at the third period, according to the appearance of the Yeonsim-type stone lantern, it was getting more splendid and variety. At the 4th period, in the early 10th century, through the rapid schematization and degeneration, the transformation of the stone lantern appeared and some kinds of formal characters remained and aesthetic parts decreased.
At last, the symbolism of the Unified Shilla is known with sacrifice ceremony, the purpose of the stone lantern and worship before the image of Buddha. The stone lantern is a facility for lantern sacrifice and it was held outdoor like Hyang sacrifice. Especially, the reason why the Unified Shilla stone lantern was located in the open is that it was hard to held the ceremony because of the inner structure. Through the arrangement of the stone lantern, the research showed that it was related to the worship before the image of Buddha.