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Human Remains Found in Foundation of Silla Dynasty Palace

Friday, September 10, 2021

GYEONGJU, SOUTH KOREA—Korea JoongAng Daily reports that a young woman’s remains have been unearthed at the site of Wolseong, a Silla Dynasty (57 B.C.–A.D. 935) palace complex in eastern South Korea. The remains of a man and a woman in their 50s were discovered less than two feet away from her grave in 2017. All three sets of remains, which show no signs of injury, had been placed in the bottom layer of the west wall of the fortress, according to Choi Byung-heon of Soongsil University. This suggests that the individuals may have been sacrificed during the construction of the building, explained Jang Ki-myeong of Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. Animal bones and other objects thought to have been used in rituals were also uncovered at the site. An intact pot was found near the young woman’s head. “When we did an X-ray of the pottery, we found a smaller bowl inside the jar. It looks like the larger pottery carried alcohol or some kind of liquid,” Jang said. Pottery was been found at the feet of the older couple, he added. The research also shows that construction of the palace complex began in the fourth century A.D. and took about 50 years to complete. To read about gold earrings unearthed in a Silla tomb in Gyeongju, go to "Mysterious Golden Sacrifice."  

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