[National Treasure] Gold earrings found in King Muryeong’s tomb
Location: Gongju, South Chungcheong
Status: National Treasure No. 157
Two pair of Baekje earrings were excavated from the Royal Tomb of King Muryeong in Gongju, South Chungcheong.
One pair is elaborately designed, with each earring having two long and small ornamental strips. The other pair is simply designed, with each earring having only one strip. The long strip on the first pair has a chain made of a twisted gold strip with many round ornaments connected to it.
Eight round ornaments are connected with a small ring to the end of the long strip, and a bullet-shaped ornament is attached to the bottom.
The bullet-shaped ornament was also found from remains of the Goguryeo Dynasty (37 B.C.-A.D. 668) but those of Baekje are rarer and more unique in shape.
This tomb was built for King Muryeong, 25th king of the Baekje Dynasty (18 B.C.-A.D. 660) who reigned from 501 to 522, and his queen. It’s one of the most well-known royal tombs as it is one of the rare tombs that was built with bricks, and a great amount of burial goods - 2,906 remains - were excavated from it.
They have been regarded as important sources for studying Baekje, particularly the culture and customs of the ancient kingdom. Among them, jiseok, a slab of stone inscribed with the deceased’s date of birth and death together with his achievements, reveals the exact owner of the tomb and the exact date of construction.
The Royal Tomb of King Muryeong is the first among all the tombs from the Three Kingdoms Period (57 B.C.-A.D. 668) that records the name of the buried king and the exact date of construction.
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