Trekking to the Silla Tombs

After seeing the birthplace of the Silla Dynasty at Najeong, the Silla Tombs were the final resting places for at least five kings of the Silla Dynasty, including the first king, King Bakhyeokgeosewang, Queen Aryeong (his wife), King Namhae (the second Silla king), King Yuri (the third Silla king), and King Pasa (the fifth Silla King).

As with King Sejong’s tomb, these are not your ordinary burial plots. These tombs were carved well into the Earth, the bodies were buried with many worldly possessions so that these kings had their possessions as they traveled into their next life (reincarnation).

Then the tombs were buried with (not necessarily in this order): layers of rocks, then silt, then more rocks, then soil, then fine layers of sand, all to enormous proportions that would ultimately form these heaping tombs (mounds of dirt) that would serve as the final resting places and at the same time, monuments to their Silla King. Any time a king or royalty died, this process would be repeated.

One thing to keep in mind is that these tombs have never been excavated and no archaeological digs have ever been performed on them, except for the Flying Horse tomb (see upcoming post). So no one really knows the treasures that were buried with these Silla kings. But as gold was an extravagant royalty during the Silla Dynasty, one can assume that plenty of gold artifacts and national treasures are hidden and yet to be revealed, leaving us to only guess at what remains beneath these Silla Tombs.