ca. 7,000 to ca. 900 BCE
• Korea, 8,000-2,000 B.C. [Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
"Humans have inhabited the Korean peninsula from as early as the Pleistocene era, about 500,000 B.C. By the Neolithic period, beginning in about 7000 B.C., small settlements of hunters, fishers, and foragers are established near rivers or coastal areas." With a period overview and list of key events.
• 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.
• Neolithic Pottery: Comb-pattern (Chûlmûn) Vessel [PDF] [Arts of Korea, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
Example of a neolithic earthenware vessel with incised comb-pattern (chûlmûn) decoration, ca. 4000-3000 BCE, is found in this document for teachers.
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• 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/DBQs • Iryôn's Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms (Samguk yusa): The Tangun Legend [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
Lesson Plan • Exploring 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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