KOREA: HISTORY-ARCHAEOLOGY
Bronze Age (Old Chosôn) and Iron Age (Conquest by Chinese Han Dynasty)

Bronze Age, ca. 900 BCE to 300 BCE (Old Chosôn, 4th Century BCE)
Iron Age, from ca. 300 BCE (conquest and colonization by Chinese Han dynasty, 108 BCE)

Korea, 1,000 B.C.-1 A.D. [Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
"During the first millennium B.C., bronze technology and then iron technology are introduced into the Korean peninsula, probably from the northern regions of the continental mainland, and are used to produce both utilitarian and ritual implements. Advances in metallurgy and a dependence on agriculture spur the development of a more complex social hierarchy, which is attested by increasingly elaborate burial practices." With a period overview, list of key events, and one related artwork.

Neolithic and Bronze Age Korea [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
"Archaeologists believe the Koreans descended from the nomadic Mongolian tribes that lived in North and Central Asia." A brief one-paragraph overview, along with an image of one object representative of the period.

Iron Age Pottery: Bird-shaped Vessel [Arts of Korea, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
Example of iron-age vessel with sculptural form, ca. second to third century BCE.

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Early Three Kingdoms Period, Silla

Three Kingdoms Period (Koguryô, Paekche, and Silla), 57 BCE to 668 CE
Three Kingdoms, Korea [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
"From the first century B.C. until the 7th century, Korea was divided into three states." A brief one-paragraph overview of the Koguryô, Paekche and Silla kingdoms of Korea, along with images of three objects representative of the period.

Golden Treasures: The Royal Tombs of Silla [Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
A short introduction, with images of six artifacts, of which four are found in the museum's collection.

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RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, THOUGHT
Origin Myths

Korean Thought [Asia Society]
Background reading about "[a] Korean origin myth described in [the] context of Korean society and as a comparison to Western thought."

Primary Source w/DBQsIryôn's Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms (Samguk yusa): The Tangun Legend [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Lesson PlanExploring Korea's Creation Myth [PDF] [Korea Society]
In this lesson plan students will (1) Perform Korea’s creation myth as a play; (2) Explain the symbolic significance of the details in the myth; (3) Describe the aspects of ancient Korean religion and culture; (4) Identify historical facts and influences; and (5) Explore how the mythic message continues to unite Koreans.

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© 2009 Asia for Educators, Columbia University