Dolmens are large burial monuments, which are numerous
in Asia, Europe and North Africa. Korea has the greatest
number of dolmens in the world. These are of great
archaeological value for the information they provide on
the prehistoric peoples who erected them, and their social
and political systems, beliefs and worship rituals, arts and
celebrations and other secrets.
Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites have the
highest density and variety of dolmens in Korea.
People marvel at not only their numbers, but also the diverse types; the table type, known as the
northern type, the go-board type, known as the southern type, the capstone type and others.
These sites also keep intact evidence of how the stones were quarried, transported and lifted,
and of how dolmen types changed over Northeast Asia.
Dolmens were erected in Korea from 1000 B.C. to the dawn of the first millenium. They
straddled a long span of ancient history, varying by time and region. Korea seems to have
flourished the most with regard to erecting various dolemens in Northeast Asia, judging from the
great density of dolmens found here.
With growing awareness of the importance of dolmens, the central government and local
governments have designated dolmen sites as historical sites or provincial monuments, and
performed precise geographical and topographical surveys and scientific excavations. Those
efforts to explore the dolmen sites archaeologically are done in accordance with environmental concerns.
Gochang Dolmen Site (8.38ha)
The Jungnim-ri dolmens, the largest and the most diversified group of dolmens in Korea, are
located in the center of the village of Maesan. Most of them are located at altitudes of 15-50m
along the southern foothills of the mountain that runs from east to west. The heights of the
capstones of the dolmens range from 1m to 5.8m based on their shape.
Hwasun Dolmen Site (31ha)
Like those found in the Gochang group, the Hwasun dolmens are located on the slopes of hills, along the Jiseokgang River. Each dolmen in this area is less intact than those found in Gochang. The Hyosan-ri group is estimated to be comprised of
158 monuments and the Daesin-ri group has 129 dolmens. In many cases, the stone outcroppings can be identified.
Ganghwa Dolmen Site (12.27ha)
This site is found on Ganghwa Island, on the slope of a mountain. The dolmens tend to be higher than those found at the other two sites and seem to have been erected much earlier.