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Ancient Tombs in Yugok-ri and Durak-ri, Namwon, the Hub of Northeast Asia’s Cultural Exchanges

Changkeun Kwak 1

1군산대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The guidebook on South Korea’s traditional geography is Sangyeongpyo (『山經表』) which is symbolized by the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range. The Unbong Plateau in the east side of the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range is a typical plateau area at altitudes of around 500m, and the ancient tombs in Yugok-ri and Durak-ri, Namwon are located in this plateau. Gimunguk, which was a small country of the Gaya lineage based in the Unbong Plateau, first appeared in the late fourth century, and continued to exist as a small country of the Gaya lineage until the mid sixth century. The mountain range of the Baekdudaegan served as a natural fence on the country’s western side, and the Unbong Plateau was a gateway to cultural exchanges between Baekje and Gaya. The key driving force behind the country’s growth was the production and distribution of iron through the development of iron mines and trade networks. The existence of Gimunguk was archeologically proven by the excavation of about 180 mal(mol) tombs, medium and large-sized ancient tombs of the Gaya lineage, and the highest-grade prestige items. In addition to Baekje, small countries of the Gaya lineage such as Daegaya and Sogaya sent the best-quality prestige items and earthenware to Gimunguk, the kingdom of iron, to obtain nickel and iron that were produced in the Unbong Plateau. Later in the early sixth country, Gimunguk accepted the Baekje Mound System in earnest with the advance of Baekje’s King Muryeong, and then was politically subjected to Shilla around the mid sixth country. As the Gaya-lineage kingdoms of iron, which were based in eastern Jeollabuk-do including Gimunguk in the Unbong Plateau, politically subjected to Baekje or Shilla, a group of artisans who worked on iron may have crossed the sea and moved to Japan.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.