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Encyclopedia > Mumun Pottery Period
History of Korea

Gojoseon, Jin
Proto-Three Kingdoms:
 Buyeo, Okjeo, Dongye
 Samhan, Gaya
Three Kingdoms:
 Goguryeo, Baekje, Silla
Unified Silla, Balhae
Later Three Kingdoms
Japanese Rule
Divided Korea:
 N. Korea, S. Korea
This article is about the history of Korea. ... Gojoseon (ancient Joseon, to distinguish from the later Joseon Dynasty) was the first Korean kingdom. ... Jin was an early Iron Age state which occupied some portion of the southern Korean peninsula during the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE, at the time when Wiman Joseon occupied the peninsula’s northern half. ... Proto-Three Kingdoms of Korea (원삼국시대, 原三國時代) refers to the period after the fall of Gojoseon and before the maturation of Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla into full-fledged kingdoms. ... Buyeo (Hangul: 부여) or Fuyu (Chinese: 夫餘; Pinyin: FÅ«yú) was an ancient ethnic group and its kingdom in northern Manchuria, from about second century BC to 494 AD. They claimed the inheritance of Gojoseon, and the rulers continued to use the Gojoseon titles of Tanje, meaning emperor. ... Okjeo was a small tribal state which arose on the East Sea coast very early in the Common Era. ... Dongye was a state which occupied portions of the northeastern Korean peninsula in the earliest centuries of the Common Era. ... During the Samhan period, the three confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan dominated the southern portion of the Korean peninsula. ... Gaya was a confederacy of chiefdoms that existed in the Nakdong River valley of Korea during the Three Kingdoms era. ... The Three Kingdoms of Korea were Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium CE. The Three Kingdoms period in Korea is usually considered to run from the 1st century BCE until Sillas triumph over Goguryeo in 668... Goguryeo (37 BC-668) was an empire in Manchuria and northern Korea. ... Baekje was a kingdom that existed in southwestern Korea from 18 BCE to 660 CE. Together with Goguryeo and Silla, Baekje is known as one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. ... Silla (also denoted as Shilla) was one of the three kingdoms of ancient Korea. ... Unified Silla is the name often applied to the Korean kingdom of Silla after 668. ... Alternate meaning: Bohai Sea Balhae (Korean) or Bohai (Chinese) was a kingdom in northeast Asia from AD 698 to 926, occupying parts of Manchuria, northern Korea and the Russian Far East. ... The Later Three Kingdoms of Korea (892-936) consisted of Silla, Hubaekje (later Baekje), and Taebong (also known as Hugoguryeo, or Later Goguryeo). ... The state of Goryeo ruled Korea from the fall of Silla in 935 until the founding of Joseon in 1392. ... The Joseon Dynasty (also Chosŏn, Hangul: 조선왕조, Hanja: 朝鮮王朝) was the final ruling dynasty of Korea, lasting from 1392 until 1910. ... Korea under Japanese rule refers to the period of Japans occupation of the Korean peninsula in the early 20th century. ... The Korean peninsula, first divided along the 38th parallel, later along the demarcation line The modern division of Korea into North Korea and South Korea stems from the 1945 Allied victory in World War II. The United States and the Soviet Union agreed to jointly administer the newly liberated nation... History of North Korea: Following World War II, Korea, which had been a colonial possession of Japan since 1910, was occupied by the Soviet Union (in the north) and the United States (in the south). ... The History of South Korea traces the development of South Korea from the division of the Korean Peninsula in 1945 to the present day. ...

The Mumun Pottery Period (Hanja: 無文土器時代, Hangeul: 무문토기시대 Mumun togi sidae) is an archaeological era in Korean prehistory that dates to approximately 1500-300 B.C. (Ahn 2000; Bale 2001; Crawford and Lee 2003). It is named after the undecorated or plain cooking and storage vessels that form a large part of the pottery assemblage consistently over the above period, especially 850-550 B.C. The Mumun Period is significant for the origins of intensive agriculture and complex societies in both the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago (Bale 2001; Crawford and Lee 2003). This period or parts of it have sometimes been labelled as the "Korean Bronze Age", but since bronze production and artifacts are rare and the distribution of bronze is highly regionalized until the latter part of the 7th century B.C., such periodization terminology is problematic (Kim 1996; Lee 2001). A boom in the archaeological excavations of Mumun Period sites since the mid-1990s has recently increased our knowledge about this important formative period in the prehistory of Northeast Asia. Korea has been ruled by a number of kingdoms/empires and republics over the last several millennia. ... Elections in South Korea provides an overview of the history of South Korean elections and their results. ... The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ...

The Mumun Period follows the Jeulmun Pottery Period (c. 8000-1500 B.C.). The Jeulmun was a period of hunting, gathering, and small-scale cultivation of plants (Lee 2001). The origins of the Mumun Period are not well known, but the megalithic burials, Mumun pottery, and large settlements found in the Liao River Basin and North Korea c. 1800-1500 probably indicate the origins of the Mumun Period of Southern Korea. The Liao He (Liao River) is the principal river in southern Manchuria. ...


Early Mumun

The Early Mumun Period (c. 1500-850 B.C.) is characterized by slash-and-burn cultivation. The social scale of Early Mumun societies was probably egalitarian in nature, although the latter part of this period is characterized by increasing intra-settlement competition and perhaps the presence of part-time "big-man" leadership (Lee 2001). Early Mumun settlements are relatively small and concentrated in West-central Korea, but large settlements of many long-houses such as Baekseok-dong (Hangeul: 백석동) appeared after 1000 B.C. Important long-term traditions related to Mumun ceremonial systems developed in this period including early megalithic burials, red-burnished pottery, and polished stone daggers developed in the Korean Peninsula during this time.

Middle Mumun

The Middle or Classic Mumun Period (c. 850-550 B.C.) is characterized by intensive agriculture, as evidenced by the large and expansive dry-field remains (c. 32,500 square metres) recovered at Daepyeong (Hangeul: 대평), a sprawling settlement with several multiple ditch enclosures, hundreds of pit-houses, specialized production, and evidence of the presence of incipient elites and social competition (Bale 2001; Crawford and Lee 2003; Nelson 1999). A number of wet-field features have been excavated, indicating that "paddy" rice-farming was also used.

Social change in the Middle Mumun is evidenced by the switch from using large rectangular pit-houses with multiple hearths in the Early Mumun to using small, square and circular pit-houses in the Middle and Late Mumun. High status megalithic burials and large raised-platform buildings at the Deokcheon-ni (Hangeul: 덕천리) and Igeum-dong sites (Hangeul: 이금동) in Gyeongsang Nam-do provide further evidence of the growth of social inequality and early Korean "chiefdoms" (see Rhee and Choi 1992). From the latter part of the Middle Mumun (c. 700-550 B.C.) a few high status burials contain bronze artifacts, and Peninsular bronze production probably began around this time. Korean archaeologists sometimes refer to Middle Mumun culture as 'Songgung-ni' Culture (Hanja: 松菊里 文化; Hangeul: 송국리 문화). Mumun Culture is the beginning of a long-term tradition of rice-farming in Korea that links Mumun Culture with the present-day, but evidence from the Early and Middle Mumun suggests that, although rice was grown, it was not the dominant crop. During the Mumun people grew millets, legumes, and continued to hunt and fish (Crawford and Lee 2003). A dugout or dug-out is a shelter dug out of the ground. ... A chiefdom is any community led by an individual known as a chief. ... Species Oryza glaberrima Oryza sativa Rice refers to two species (Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima) of grass, native to tropical and subtropical southeastern Asia and to Africa. ...

Late Mumun

The Late Mumun (550-300 B.C.) is characterized by increasing conflict, fortified hilltop settlements, and a concentration of population in the southern coastal area. Notably, Mumun-esque settlements appeared in Northern Kyushu (Japan) during the Late Mumun. The Mumun Period ended when pottery with rounded clay-stripe rims appeared and iron entered the archaeological record. From about 300 B.C., bronze objects became the ascendent prestige mortuary goods, but iron objects were traded and then produced in the Korean Peninsula at that time. The Late Mumun-Early Iron Age Neuk-do Island Shellmidden Site yielded a few iron objects, Lelang and Yayoi pottery, and other evidence showing that Late Mumun societies were in contact with the Western Han Dynasty and Early Yayoi peoples. The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. ... Iron Age Axe found on Gotland This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age, for the mythological Iron Age see Iron Age (mythology). ... Lelang (樂浪郡 le4 lang4 jun4) was one of the Chinese commanderies which was kept in the Korean Peninsula over 400 years. ... The Yayoi period (Japanese: 弥生時代, Yayoi-jidai) is an era in Japan from 300 BC to AD 250. ... The Han Dynasty (Traditional: 漢朝; Simplified: 汉朝; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Han Chau; 206 BC–AD 220) followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. ... The Yayoi period (Japanese: 弥生時代, Yayoi-jidai) is an era in Japan from 300 BC to AD 250. ...


Ahn, Jae-ho. Hanguk nonggyeongsahoe-eui seongnib (The formation of agricultural society in Korea). Hanguk Kogo-Hakbo (Journal of the Korean Archaeological Society) 43:41-66, 2000.

Bale, Martin T. Archaeology of Early Agriculture in Korea: An Update on Recent Developments. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 21(5):77-84, 2001.

Crawford, Gary W. and Gyoung-Ah Lee. Agricultural Origins in the Korean Peninsula. Antiquity 77(295):87-95, 2003.

Kim, Seung Og. Political Competition and Social Transformation: The Development of Residence, Residential Ward, and Community in Prehistoric Taegongni of Southwestern Korea. PhD dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Proquest, Ann Arbor, 1996.

Lee, June-Jeong. From Shellfish Gathering to Agriculture in Prehistoric Korea: The Chulmun to Mumun Transition. PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madision. Proquest, Ann Arbor, 2001.

Nelson, Sarah M. Megalithic Monuments and the Introduction of Rice into Korea. In The Prehistory of Food: Appetites for Change, edited by C. Gosden and J. Hather, pp. 147-165. Routledge, London, 1999.

Rhee, S. N. and M. L. Choi. Emergence of Complex Society in Prehistoric Korea. Journal of World Prehistory 6: 51-95, 1992.



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