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Korea is the kingdom of dolmen (tomb-like structures). It has been reported that around 60,000 dolmens are in existence around the world. One survey found that 29,510 dolmens are located on the Korean peninsula, meaning that almost half the world’s dolmens are clustered on one narrow peninsula! A complete survey of Korean dolmens is still being conducted, with researchers hypothesizing that at least 40,000 dolmens are in existence in Korea.

 

Dolmens were the final resting places of the ruling class in the Bronze Age. A dolmen was not just a gravesite, but was also used as an altar for rituals. The Bronze Age (from around 2000 to 1500BC) was the period in which humans began settling down and farming instead of leading a nomadic lifestyle. The reason dolmens have become known as a product of the Bronze Age is that bronze ware has been excavated from nearby the dolmens.

 

 

The scale and shape of the dolmens were symbolic of the owner’s power and/or status and therefore shed some light on the social structure of the period. A lot of insight can also be gleaned by considering the remains buried under each structure. Viewing the dolmens means imagining the daily life of humans 5000 years ago. Dolmens are regularly found throughout Korea, but three of the most characteristic places have been registered as UNESCO world cultural heritage sites in 2000. These three dolmen areas are introduced below according to their unique features.

 

 

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Dolmen Remains in Gochang
Dolmen Remains in Hwasun
Dolmen Remains in Ganghwa

 

☞ More Info
☞ Website of Gochang Dolmens Heritage
(Korean only)
☞ Korea Travel Phone
   +82-63-1330 (English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ For more info +82-63-560-2577 (Korean)