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Posted : 2014-03-17 17:42
Updated : 2014-03-17 17:42

Reopening tomb of 'heavenly horses'

By Baek Byung-yeul

Artifacts from "Cheonmachong," one of Korea's best known tombs, will be on display during a rare exhibition in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province.

Opening today, the exhibit at Gyeongju National Museum features some 1,600 artifacts from the royal tomb of the ancient Silla Kingdom (B.C. 57-A.D. 935).

Cheonmachong was built for an unknown king during the late 5th and the early 6th century. It is the only tomb in Gyeongju, the capital city of Silla, which tourists can enter.



Painting of horse riders on wood

First excavated in 1973, a total of 11,526 relics were unearthed there including the Silla Gold Crown, designated as National Treasure No. 188 and the Silla Gold Hat, designated as National Treasure No. 189. Both are on display at the exhibition.


The tomb's name derives from a painting of a flying horse, or "cheonma," depicted on a birch bark saddle flap discovered in the tomb. The painting, which is designated as National Treasure No. 207, will also be on display.

The exhibition includes two other saddle flaps decorated with the flying horse, which were only recently unveiled to the public.

Gilt bronze flag holder

"Through this exhibition, our entire Cheonmachong collection goes public, and the 1,600 artifacts represent the tomb very well," Lee Young-hoon, director of the museum, said.


The exhibition also includes photographs and video materials of the excavation process.

Following the exhibition, the collection will be loaned to the Cheongju National Museum in Cheongju, North Chungchoeng Province.

The exhibition runs through June 22. Admission is free. For more information, visit gyeongju.museum.go.kr.

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