Exposition : Cheonmachong, The Royal Tomb of Silla



Cheonmachong, The Royal Tomb of Silla

Until 22 June 2014

Kyongju National Museum


The Gyeongju National Museum holds a special exhibition featuring the Tomb of the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong) located in Kyongju. Cheonmachong is a widely known Silla tomb from which a saddle flap with a Cheonma (Korean Pegasus) drawn on it was excavated together with the gold crown of Silla. Around 10 pieces of these excavated items were designated as national treasures…

The excavation of Cheonmachong was conducted for eight months from April 6 to December 4, 1973. The original plan was to excavate the Great Tomb of Hwangnam (Hwangnamdaechong) first and to open it for public viewing afterward. However, the archeologists who lacked experience in excavation of large wooden chamber tombs with stone mound decided to excavate Cheonmachong first instead. For the first time after the independence of Korea from Japanese occupation, a Silla gold crown was excavated together with the saddle flap that bears a “Heavenly Horse” (Cheonma) drawing. Because of this, the tomb was named Cheonmachong.

Who was the owner of Cheonmachong that was buried wearing a gold crown and a gold belt? The excavation report identified this person as King Jijeung (reigning period 500–513). However, some people raise the possibility that the owner of the tomb could be the younger brother of the king, considering the distribution relationship with the Hwangnamdaechong and its size. A clear answer to this question has not been made yet and discussions about the owner of the tomb are expected to continue in the future.





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