A scholar’s salvation
Period: Goryeo Dynasty, 1144
Location: National Museum of Korea
This is the stone coffin of Heo Jae, who was a scholar during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). The coffin shows that cremation was in use during this period, due to the influence of Buddhism.
The four directional deities - black tortoise, white tiger, phoenix and blue dragon - as well as the 12 animals of the zodiac are engraved on the coffin’s exterior. The inscription of these symbols signifies a wish to be saved by the gods after death.
The inside of the coffin is filled with writings documenting Heo’s life.
*The photos and text for Treasure Trove are provided by the National Museum of Korea. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit www.museum.go.kr