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Grave Treasure Discovered in a Silla Princess’ Tomb in South Korea


A team of archeologists uncovered heaps of treasure inside of a tomb of a Silla Princess found in the Earth’s belly in the North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. The Silla

Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of grave goods in the tomb of a Silla Princess, buried in the city of Gyeongju, in the North Gyeongsang Province of South Korea. The Silla Kingdom was created by Bak Hyeokgeose of Silla in 57 BC. It, alongside Baekje and Goguryeo, was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

The Silla Kingdom fell into the hands of three different dynasties over a period of 990 years—Gyeongju Gim for 686 years, Miryang Bak for 232 years, and Wolseong Seok for 172 years. In 935 AD, the kingdom collapsed when the 56th and final ruler was in power.

A Gyeongju division from the NRICH made the discovery of the tomb and its treasure during ongoing diggings in the coastal city. The excavation project commenced in 2014 after identifying a tomb inside of a medium-sized burial site. The burial ground included a wooden chamber, absent of physical human remains that have deteriorated over time into dust. Researchers believe that the tomb and its remains date back to the 5th century.

The more recent discoveries of the Silla tomb include a bronze crown, indicating that the tomb was constructed for a woman. Another prominent discovery was a silver knife, further supporting the belief that a woman was buried in the tomb. Scattered around the burial site was an assortment of jeweled beetles with golden trim, suggesting that the figure who had deteriorated to dust was of royal lineage.

The Silla practiced constructing large mounds containing gold items for royal family members. However, halfway into the reign of the Silla Kingdom, they had adopted Buddhism as the official state religion in 528. Bodies of the deceased were no longer buried with lucrative items; instead, cremation became the new standard, with urns replacing gold and silver treasure. All precious metals were used to construct and decorate temples rather than decorate royal coffins.