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Journal of the Korean Archaeological Society

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남한지역 세형동검의 출현과 전개
The Slender Bronze Daggers of South Korea: Emergence and Change
吳江原(Oh Kangwon)
한국고고학보 제117집/ 2020
7-34 (28 pages)
The intrinsic properties of slender bronze daggers are their side groove and knot. In this respect, it is possible to observe that Laoyemiao-Yunjiacun type bronze daggers and Yangdong-ri type bronze daggers, mainly distributed from the Liaoning region to the northwestern region of North Korea, can be distinguished from slender bronze daggers, and regarded as a separate category of bronze dagger. The slender bronze dagger was a direct development from the mandolin-shaped bronze dagger. Taking the above points into consideration, slender bronze daggers were subdivided into those with crescent-shaped lines (Type A), soft crescent-shaped lines (Type B), oblique lines (Type C), and straight lines (Type D), based on the dagger shape as the primary standard of classification. Those daggers with narrow blood grooves and multiple blood grooves were further classified, according to the length of the ridge line, into Type I (extending to the side groove) and Type II (extending to the bottom part). Thus, the types classified comprise the following: Type A, Type B (BI and BII), Type C (CI and CII), and Type D (DI, DII, and DII′). The slender bronze dagger in South Korea evolved over a total of seven stages. Stage I (350-300 BC) is characterized by the assemblage of the type-A slender bronze dagger, bronze mirror with coarse linear designs, attached-rim vessel, ring handle pottery. Stage VII (100-150 AD) is characterized by the newly appearing assemblage of the DII slender bronze dagger, long tang iron dagger, pitchfork, anchor-shaped iron implement, spiral pattern ornament horse bit, iron cauldron, etc. The slender bronze dagger emerged out of the combination of the non-mainstream secondary groups of the Zhengjiawazi culture pattern and some groups in the southern Liaotung region, which spread to the central and southern regions of the Korean Peninsula through the sea route. The comprehensive consideration of the quantity and occupancy ratio of each type at each stage makes it possible to identify the sequential transition from Type A to Type DII′. Among them, Type B and Type C slender bronze daggers can be regarded as exemplary slender bronze daggers in that they were in use for a long time.
In this study, the Chinese-style belt ornament found distributed throughout East Asia was analyzed and its development process and significance reviewed. The Chinese-style belt ornament can be classified into a total of eight types by combining form and manufacturing technology, and each type is divided into four stages which lasted from the end of the third century to the middle of the fourth century. The Chinese-style belt ornament was formed by combining the elements of belt ornaments, including those decorated with horse-hoof-shaped patterns in repousse, which existed from Later Han to Three Kingdoms. It is believed to have been intentionally created in the Western Jin Dynasty, which achieved unification. From that time onwards, the Chinese- style belt ornament, which was actively produced, spread not only throughout China’s Central Region but also to Northeastern China, the Korean Peninsula, and the Japanese Archipelago. Produced within the territories of the Western Jin Dynasty and the Eastern Jin Dynasty, the Chinese-style belt ornament was imitated by the sixteen kingdoms, such as Former Qin and Former Yan. In the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago, where Chinese- style belts were introduced, an independent culture of belt-ornaments developed. The highly standardized Chinese-style belt ornament, which lacked significant difference in shape, was transferred or imitated with different meanings from region to region and had a great impact on the Three Kingdoms and the belt-ornament culture of Japan. This is the essential significance of the Chinese-style belt-ornament in East Asia.
In order to reconstruct the landscape of an ancient capital city and its living landscape as close as possible to how it may have actually been, it is necessary to identify its green space (by identifying how the vegetation within the landscape looked like, where it was located, and what it meant to the ancient people who lived there), in addition to understanding aspects of its civil engineering and architecture. This research reveals the vegetation change that took place at five archaeological sites in Gyeongju during the time from the Three Kingdoms to the Unified Silla Period, with a focus on the places where vegetation grew, by examining the findings of various plant remains, with focus on pollen analyses. According to the analysis, the cultural meaning of the vegetation which formed part of the landscape of the ancient capital city of Silla is as follows. During the period from the fifth to the sixth century AD, a riparian forest dominated by Zelkova-Ulmus was distributed along the banks of the Nam-cheon and Buk-cheon Rivers; the findings of the research suggest the possibility that the expansion and decline of this forest may have resulted from certain human activities. Evidence from this research suggests that the extinction of the wetland vegetation in the central area of the Gyeongju Basin in the late sixth century may have been due to the development of lowland areas for land required by the capital city. From the Unified Silla Period, the areas peripheral to settlements within the Gyeongju Basin appear to have witnessed a relative decrease in forest lands, as a result of the expansion of city development and an increase in its population; this is evidenced by the increase in the proportion of grassland. Meanwhile, in mountainous areas, the Quercus-Pinus climax forest declined while secondary pine forests increased. In addition, this research discovered the presence of ancient exotic plants that had been imported through the trade with foreign countries, especially newly cultivated plants which began to appear and become diversified during the Unified Silla Period. The empirical data of this research, which was produced by collecting and classifying landscaping plants of the time, can provide a better resource based on which the variety of the plant culture of the capital city of Silla may be assumed.
In order to approach the characteristics of the ancient tombs located in Ayeong Basin, Namwon, the structure of the tombs, the similarity of the burial patterns of the grave goods, and the characteristics of the shape of the pottery stands and horse gear from these tombs were analyzed and compared against that of the main ancient tombs of the central Gaya area. The geopolitical value of Namwon’s Ayeong Basin increased as Baekje, which intended to dominate the Namgang River system, expanded its influence. In the second quarter of the 5th century, groups close to Busan, Haman, and Hapcheon moved to the area of the ancient tombs of Cheonggye-ri. In the third and fourth quarters of the 5th century, the head of the area of the Walsan-ri Ancient Tombs grew into an independent head of state who received prestige gifts from Baekje. In the first quarter of the 6th century, interaction with Baekje were maintained, but the foundations of the material culture became similar to that of the ancient Gaya Kingdom. This change is believed to have been linked with the strengthening of Silla’s influence over Gaya forces at the mouth of the Nakdonggang River and the change of Baekje’s external transportation routes. Different locations within the basin were home to different types of ancient tombs, but it is not clear whether this represents a replacement of groups or a change within the same group of the linage that held power. Based on the data accumulated thus far, it appears that the relocation of the ancient tombs of the Ayeong Basin was caused by the migration of Gaya forces, but other interpretations may be possible if significant research results that point towards indigenous forces are accumulated in the future.