Ancient Site of Goryeo Palace Unveiled
By Chung Ah-young
The ancient site of an old royal palace, Manwoldae in Kaesong, North Korea, has been excavated in a joint archeological survey.
Archaeologists from South and North Korea jointly conducted the two-month survey in November and December to unearth the ruins from the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392), according to the Cultural Heritage Administration.
The joint excavation team said the general structure and arrangements bore the accurate size of a Gyeongnyeongjeon, or a hall enshrining the five kings' portraits including King Taejo, the founder of the kingdom, and ancestral tablets, and other building sites.
The Gyeongnyeongjeon site consists of an oblong-shaped stereobate, which spans 22.67 meters east to west and 10.15 meters north to south, and has five partitions on the front and three on the side.
Inside the hall, the foundations of five ritual altars were discovered. In the southern part of the building, three doors and stairways were found and three sides had walls.
In the south of the hall, another building site, spreading 18.8 meters east to west and 10.08 meters north to south was discovered, bearing stairways on the front and both sides. In the southern quarter, two symmetrical stoned foundations two meters in height and 0.9 meters in width were unearthed.
The administration said, ``the overall structure of the old site is in a closed form because it was built separately from other living places as the spot was a special place for religious rituals.''
Some 3,000 roofing tiles, green porcelain, door handles and hinged mirrors were also discovered.
The site lies a few kilometers from the inter-Korean border and is the location of Manwoldae, the ancient kingdom's royal palace.
As the city was the capital of the kingdom from 918 to 1362, it is believed to contain important relics and remains from that period.
Located beneath Mt. Songak, the royal palace was built in 919 and only the ruins of the palace foundations still exist. The rest was destroyed in 1361 when China invaded Korea.