Asian Archeology


The reserve-museum Issyk has long-term cooperation agreements with five research organizations of the Republic of South Korea. This year was the second season of joint archaeological research, the results of which were presented on October 17, 2017 at the international archaeological conference «2017 Asian Archaeology» held in Daejeon, South Korea. Director of the reserve-museum «Issyk Gulmira Mukhtarova and senior researcher, head of the Kazakhstani-Korean archeological expedition of 2017 Turali Tulegenov took part in the conference, where reports on the results of joint research of Korean archaeologists with researchers from Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan were presented, which gave the conference a truly planetary character. According to the tradition in Korea, the collection of reports was published for the opening of the conference and was presented to the participants. Researchers from different countries discussed with each other the results and prospects of future research, including joint international ones. Also, Issyk’s employees communicated with Korean colleagues-archeologists in the framework of other ongoing events and a specially organized a banquet. At the conference there was an atmosphere of enthusiasm, creative thinking, sincere scientific interest and cooperation. After formal general events, the plans of the reserve-museum and Korean archaeologists were discussed in the framework of further bilateral joint research work for 2018. It was decided to create a geoinformational database system for archaeological monuments of the Esik micro region.


As a cultural program on the second day of the staff of the reserve-museum «Issyk» in Korea, Mahan Cultural Research Center organized an excursion to the mounds of the Baekje era and the National Museum of Konjou.

These burial mounds (tombs) were built for the kings and other members of the royal family of the Baekje dynasty. Four tombs are located in the eastern part, and the tomb of King Muriong and the tombs (No. 5, 6) are in the western part. The burial mounds can be divided into tombs with a stone chamber in the corridor (No. 1-5) and a brick chamber (the tomb of King Muriong, No. 6) in accordance with their construction styles, which show that there was a dynamic cultural exchange between Baekje and its neighboring countries, including China and Japan.

The 1500-year-old tomb of King Muriong, the twenty-fifth ruler of the kingdom of Baekje and his queen was discovered in an almost ideal state in 1971 during the construction of drainage facilities. It is noteworthy that this is the only royal tomb of the Three Kingdoms period, for which the identity of the inhabitants is clearly identified. The artifacts found in the grave testify to the refined aesthetic sensitivity and the developed craft of the Baekje dynasty.


The «find of the century» for Korean archeology was museumed on the spot and is now open to visitors. The exposition of museumed mounds features copies of items from the tomb of King Muriong and tombs 5 and 6. Visitors can learn all about the process of excavation of ancient tombs in Sonsan-ri, as well as the prosperous culture of Baekje.

A separate building is the National historical museum Ungjin Baekje, which displays original items from mounds, valuable artifacts, including «twelve national treasures», extracted from the Tomb of King Muriong. The video hall of the museum is equipped with an information system that explains in detail the history and culture of the city of Baekje for visitors. This museum complex, located on the top of mountain Chongjiazan, north of King Muriong’s Tomb and ancient tombs in Songsan-ri, contains ancient residential buildings and monuments of the royal family of Baekje.


«Issyk people» returned home with their impressions, new knowledge about the experience of the museumification of archaeological sites. Printed information materials, transferred to the library of the museum, will be available to other researchers. Ahead of the reserve-museum other joint archaeological expeditions and, we hope, meetings and new discoveries.


                                                                                                     Senior Science Associate

                                                                                                                Torali Tolegenov



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