Look at greatness through Daegaya's royal tombs!

On the top of a mountain surrounding Daegaya-eup like a folding screen is the mountain fortress of the Daegaya period. The tombs of Daegaya's kings, built from 400 A.D. when Daegaya began to grow to 562 when the empire collapsed, are lined up along the ridge stretching south from the fortress. There, 700 tombs of varying sizes and believed to be those of royalty and aristocrats, including Jisan-ri Tombs No. 44 and 45, are scattered. These are Daegaya's biggest ancient tombs from which lots of Daegaya's unique pottery, ironware and horse saddles and fancy jewelry like gilt bronze crowns and gold earrings used by kings were excavated.

Daegaya's tombs usually sit on a mountain ridge and range, having the mountain fortress in the rear and looking down on the village and open fields in the front. For the king's tomb, in particular, one big stone chamber, where the king is buried, is built in the center around which one stone chamber or two for grave goods and several tombs for those buried together with the king are created. The stone chamber has a long quadrilateral shape with its width too narrow to be compared to its length, built with broken stones one by one neatly to form walls on which multiple big cover stones are laid. Stones were erected in a ring around the tomb and the burial mound is stacked up high with different kinds of dirt.

  • Tomb No. 30
  • Tomb No. 32~35
  • Tomb No. 44
  • Tomb No. 45
  1. 01Jisan-ri Tomb No. 30
    This is located in front of the Royal Tomb Exhibition Hall, the lowest area among the Jisan-ri Ancient Tombs, with the bottom diameter of its burial mound reaching 18 meters. It was revealed through the 1994 excavation that a big stone chamber was built before an adjacent stone chamber and graves for those buried together were created. And the tomb was two-storied as a stone-line tomb was built under the floor of the central stone chamber. In the meantime, children's bones and gilt bronze crowns were excavated from the tombs of those buried together. And stones on which rock drawings of the prehistoric age are carved were broken to be used as the cover stones of the tomb.
  2. 02Jisan-ri Tombs No. 32-35
    They are the tombs in the middle part of the ridge in the Jisan-ri Ancient Tombs and all of them have a bottom diameter of 10 to 15 meters. In the 1978 excavation, gilt bronze crowns, armors and helmets were discovered from Tomb No. 32, and big swords on which phoenix heads and vine patterns are decorated in silver were excavated from its adjacent tomb. They appear to have been built earlier than the royal tombs up the mountain and there are a number of smaller tombs near them.
  3. 03Jisan-ri Tomb No. 44
    This belongs to a bigger group in size among the Jisan-ri Ancient Tombs, located right below the top of the ridge. An excavation conducted in 1977 found that the bottom diameter of the tomb is as long as 27 meters and there are a big stone chamber in the center where the king was buried and two dependent stone chambers for grave goods to the south and to the west. And there were 32 small graves for those buried together near them. Therefore, this is presumed to be a royal tomb where more than 40 people were buried all together, indicating that it was built when Daegaya's state power was the greatest.
  4. 04Jisan-ri Tomb No. 45
    This is right above Jisan-ri Tomb No. 44 and an excavation conducted in 1977 found that its bottom diameter reaches 28 meters. A big stone chamber for the king was made in the center and next to it were stone chambers for grave goods; then 11 graves for those buried together were built nearby. Those buried together numbered more than 14.
    Sunjang refers to a funeral practice to bury people and animals after killing them together when someone died. Killing people and using them for the funeral of another person reflects the grip of the ruling class having strong power - a practice widely prevalent in the ancient world. This was conducted to express the wish that the dead will enjoy the life of this world in the afterlife in accordance with the succession though or "Gyesesasang" of the ancient people who believed that people would continue their life after death.
    In Daegaya, where historical records hardly remain, it was revealed through the excavation of ancient tombs that sunjang was carried out widely among the ruling class, indicating that the common custom of ancient kingdoms also existed in Gaya.