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Tomb of King Tongmyong, Pyongyang, North Korea

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Tomb of King Tongmyong, Pyongyang, North Korea — Fotopedia
The UNESCO World Heritage listed Tomb of King Tongmyong (259-298BC) is located some 20km south of central Pyongyang, in a remote, serene locale. King Tongmyong is the founder of the Koguryo Kingdom, one of the famed Three Kingdoms of Korea (the other two being Silla and Baekje).
Wikipedia Article
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Tomb of King Tongmyong

The Tomb of King Tongmyŏng is a mausoleum located in near Ryongsan-ri, Ryŏkp'o-guyŏk, P'yŏng'yang, North Korea. One of the tombs is the royal tomb of Tongmyŏng (58–19 BC), the founder of the ancient Goguryeo kingdom, northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. In total, there are 63 individual tombs of the period. The area around the Tongmyong contains at least fifteen known tombs believed to belong to various vassal lords. The tomb has achieved World Heritage status as part of the Complex of Goguryeo Tombs inscribed by UNESCO in 2004 under Criteria (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) covering an area of 233 hectares (580 acres) with a buffer zone of 1,701 hectares (4,200 acres). A unique feature of this and the other extant tombs in the area are its wall paintings depicting lotuses blossoming of that period indicative of Buddhism practiced in Korea (277 BC to 668 AD).


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Complex of Goguryeo Tombs

The Complex of Goguryeo Tombs (Complex of Koguryo Tombs) lie in North Korea. In July 2004, they became the first UNESCO World Heritage site in the country. The site consists of 30 individual tombs from the later Goguryeo kingdom, one of Three Kingdoms of Korea, located in the cities of P'yŏngyang and Namp'o. Goguryeo was one of the strongest Korean kingdoms in the north east of China and the Korean Peninsula from 37 BCE to the 7th century CE. The kingdom was founded in the present day area of Northern Korea, and part of Manchuria around 37 BCE, and the capital was transferred to P'yŏngyang in 427 CE.

Many of the tombs, such as the Anak Tomb No. 3, have wall paintings. The tombs are almost all that remains from this culture. There are over 10,000 Goguryeo tombs overall, but only about 90 of those unearthed in China and Korea have wall paintings. The Complex of Goguryeo Tombs inscribed on the World Heritage List contains the majority of these tombs with wall paintings. It is thought that the complex was used as a burial site for kings, queens and other members of the royal family. The paintings found on the tombs offer a unique insight into the everyday life of the Goguryeo period. The group includes the Tomb of King Tongmyong.

The murals are strongly coloured and show daily life and Korean mythologies of the time. By 2005, 70 murals had been found, mostly in the Taedong river basin near Pyongyang, the Anak area in South Hwanghae province, and in Ji'an in China's Jilin province.