Ancient Korean sword found in Primorye

(ORDO NEWS) — An artifact more than one and a half thousand years old was found on the field after plowing. Probably brought by the conquerors.

Employees of the Museum-Reserve of the History of the Far East named after V. K. Arseniev reported that their collection was replenished with a unique specimen: a resident of the village of Pokrovka, Primorsky Territory, found a sword on a plowed field and transferred it to the museum.

Preliminary dating of the find is more than one and a half thousand years. Maxim Yakupov, chief curator of the Museum-Reserve of the History of the Far East, suggested that this was a sword from the era of the Three Korean States.

Ancient Korean sword found in Primorye 2
A unique artifact was found, as often happens, quite by accident

In a commentary for Naked Science, Yakupov explained his assumption this way: “The found sword has a characteristic three-ring pommel. Single-edged straight swords with this type of pommel were common in the Korean peninsula during the era of the Three States.

In particular, they are known from the burials of the nobility of the ancient Korean state of Silla and the proto-state of Kaya. Most of its analogues date back to the 5th-7th centuries of our era.”

The Three Korean States are the first state formations on the Korean Peninsula, information about which is available in historical sources.

Prior to this period, the history of Korea is known only from unverifiable legends. The first mention of the Three States – Silla, Goguryeo and Baekche – dates back to the 1st century BC. The main source of information about those times is Samguk Sagi, a monument of Korean historiography.

According to him, the state of Silla was founded in 57 BC, Goguryeo – in 37 BC, when its inhabitants won their independence from China, and Baekje – in 18 BC, due to the unwillingness of some royal people of Goguryeo to share the inheritance (usually there were victims among the heirs).

Far from all the information of the Samguk Sagi has been confirmed, but the overall picture is clear: from the 1st century BC to the 7th century AD, the three states actually somehow got along on the peninsula.

Ancient Korean sword found in Primorye 3
Samples of Korean swords of the era of the Three States

These states (to a greater extent – Baekche) had a strong influence on the formation of Japanese culture and statehood.

Although the Land of the Rising Sun does not like such comparisons (the basis of the state ideology there is the myth of the autochthonous nature of Japanese culture), it is still known that Korean masters built most of the temples of the Nara period, Korean monks were mentors to members of the ruling Japanese clans, and the samurai sword, most likely of Korean origin.

How could weapons from Korea get into Primorye? Maxim Yakupov answers this question in this way: “Now several versions of the appearance of this sword in Primorye are being considered.

In 698, the Mohe tribes proclaimed the creation of the state of Bohai, whose territory at the beginning of the 8th century extended to Southern Primorye. In its formation, in addition to mohe, people from the ancient Korean state of Koguryeo, conquered at that time by the state of Silla, took part.

The territory of Primorye, according to archaeological data, also entered Bohai by way of conquest. Perhaps this sword fell with one of the participants in the military campaign.

Such swords existed in the united state of Silla after his conquest of Goguryeo and Baekje. But, of course, it cannot be ruled out that the sword came to Primorye as a result of trade relations. So far, we can confidently say that it belonged to a noble warrior.

The state of Bohai was located on the territory of part of Manchuria, the south of Primorye and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

The sword found on the field will be handed over for conservation and study. In the future, after restoration, it will most likely replenish the collection of weapons in the “Magic Blade” room of the Museum of the History of the Far East.

This is an exhibition of edged weapons of warriors from Russia, China, Japan, the Indo-Persian region, as well as European and American countries.

As long as weapons from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century are stored there, the new blade will be the oldest in this collection. According to Yakupov, there is nothing like the discovered Korean sword in the collection.

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