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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Gracious and Groovy Gaya (3G), Part III: Dohang-Malsan Tumuli Site, Haman, Southern Gyeongsang - Site of Ara Gaya, Part of Gaya Confederacy

Haman County is where Ara Gaya established its kingdom in the Samhan Period. The tombs of the area were built around the 5th to the 6th century. The tomb complex is divided into Dohang-ri tomb compound and Malsan-ri tomb compound. Most of the tombs belong to Dohang-ri and four of them(No.1,4,9,10) belong to Malsan-ri compound.

The 4th tomb (9.7m high and 39.39m in diameter) is the largest tomb in Ara Park, Gaya-eup. This tomb was excavated in 1917. Inside the tomb is a stone tomb of squared shape in the half basement floor. The historical remains found in the tomb include wheel-shaped earthenware, bird-shaped earthenware, iron weapons, horse decoration and human bones. These are important remains to explain the culture of Haman area. Haman County designated 4 tombs in Malsan-ri and 3 tombs in Dohang-ri as Historical Remains. 

However, most of the ancient tombs were illegally excavated and robbed. There used to be 70 tombs in Dohang-ri and 44 tombs in Malsan-ri, but there exist only 34 tombs Haman-gun is a basin, high in the south and low in the north. Nakdong/Rakdong River and Nam River flows to the north and west. The south and the east area is surrounded with 600m mountains. This tomb compound was first excavated in the Japanese colonial period. No.34 tomb was the largest tomb of a king (9.7m high and 39.3m in diameter). 

The inner structure is shaped like vertical digging stone chamber tomb with the rectangular semi-base stone chamber. Among the excavated relics, chariot shaped pottery, bird shaped pottery and harness fittings are impressive. Various pottery, iron arms, horse ornaments and human bones were found, which shows it is the important historic site to disclose the culture of the Haman area.

Recently an armor suit was found in Magapchong on the northend of the compound. This was the same one as found on the tomb wall of the Goguryeo Dynasty. No.8 tomb reveals the bones of five men who are buried alive. Malsan was originally called as Meorisan, meaning 'Head Mountain'. This was the head of the mountains, where the founder of Ara Gaya emerged and many of the kings were buried. It was designated as Historical Remains No.84 and 85 on January 21, 1962. For the efficient management, the county prepared a basic plan and is developing as a history tour course.