2 Canadians in Korea

Welcome to our blog. It's designed to give people back home an idea of what it's like living in South Korea and to allow you to follow us on our journey.

I've been blogging a lot of facts and I feel I should say that some of it is copy pasted from books, the internet and the signs that I took pictures of at the tourist site itself.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Royal Tombs

In Gyeongju, there are hundreds of royal tombs scattered across the city dating back as far as 2000 years ago. It's kind of strange really as you will be on a bus going down a business street and there is a break in the line of buildings for a nice grassy mountain which is a royal tomb. I don't think they know who's under all the tombs but they have quite a few of them labelled. They have excavated a few of them and we got to go inside one tomb called Chonmachong (Heavenly Horse Tomb) which got its name from an artifact found in the tomb which was a painting of a white Heavenly Horse on birch-bark saddle flaps. We were able to see the painting up close but we were not allowed to take pictures. In the tomb, which dates back to the 5th century, was 11500 other artifacts such as a golden crown, bracelets, jade ornaments, weapons, pottery and they even found some ancient eggs. Knowing I was going to see a crown I had an image in my mind of what I was going to see and I was wrong. The crown was not a rigid chunk of gold like a ring would be but more of a sheet of gold paper formed into a crown with three tall stems with designs carved into them and bean shaped jade pieces tied into them.
The tombs were built the way they are to prevent people from digging them up to get the riches that were burried along with the kings. Each of them are a little different when it comes to size and this one was 13 meters high and its circumference is 157 meters. They placed the body along with his treasures in the middle of the tomb in a wooden box and pilled small boulders on top until it was a big hill. Then they put 6-10 inches of clay, 3 feet of dirt and finally grass. The idea is that no one can dig it out without it caving in on top of them. Althought I wasn't allowed to take a picture inside I managed to sneak this one in which shows the layers under the grass.

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