Riding high

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Riding high

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Each of these vessels is shaped like a man riding a horse, but their details are very different. Holes in the horses’ chests and along the bottom of the vessels make it likely that they functioned as kettles. The artifacts were excavated from the Geumryeong-chong tomb in Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient Silla Dynasty (57 B.C.-A.D. 935), and provide important information about the period’s dress and horse ornamentation.

The differences in the riders’ garments may signify their social status. One man sports a suit of armor and a triangular hat. His horse is equipped with ornaments as well as a saddle with stirrups. The other rider looks like a servant. His hair is worn in a topknot and his torso is bare. He’s posed as if he is waving a bell to guide his master. This horse is outfitted with relatively simple ornamentation.


Name: Horse and rider-shaped vessels

Period: Silla, sixth century

Location: National Museum of Korea

Status: National Treasure No. 91


*The photos and texts for Treasure Trove are provided by National Museum of Korea. For more information, you can call 02-2077-9000 or visit www.museum.go.kr
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