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The pottery of ancient Korea stretches back to prehistory when simple brown wares were made and decorated with geometrical incisions. Potters would benefit from the ideas and techniques of their Chinese counterparts and go on to produce their own highly sought-after works, including grey stoneware, celadons or greenware, buncheong ware and white porcelain... [continue reading
Choe Chiwon (857-915 CE) was a celebrated poet and scholar of the Unified Silla kingdom which ruled Korea from 668 to 935 CE. Choe Chiwon adopted the pseudonym or brush name 'Orphan Cloud' and he became the most celebrated scholar-official of his generation gaining valuable political experience in Tang China. Choe was a prolific writer, but unfortunately... [continue reading
The Great Sphinx of Giza is the most instantly recognizable statue associated with ancient Egypt and among the most famous in the world. The sculpture, of a recumbent lion with the head of an Egyptian king, was carved out of limestone on the Giza plateau probably in the reign of the king Khafre (2558-2532 BCE) during the period of the Old Kingdom... [continue reading
The Samguk yusa ('Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms') is a 13th-century CE text which covers the history and legends of Korea's founding right up to the 10th century CE. It is a sequel of sorts to the earlier Samguk sagi ('Records of the Three Kingdoms') written in the 12th century CE which is considered the first history of Korea... [continue reading
When you visit the Sunken Cities exhibition at the British Museum, you feel as if you are divingÂ beneath the waters of the Nile River. You pass through a corridor illuminated by blue light and into galleries painted in a navy blue. There are dappled lighting effects to imitate water â itâs a wonder they donât hand out snorkels to complete... [continue reading
The rich lands of Egypt became the property of Rome after the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE, which spelled the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty that had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. After the murder of Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BCE, the Roman Republic was left in turmoil. Fearing for her life and throne, the young queen joined... [continue reading
The Bulguksa Temple (aka Pulguk-sa Temple or 'Temple of the Buddha Land') was built in the 8th century CE on the wooded slopes of Mt. Tohamsan at the ancient Silla capital of Kumsong (modern Gyeongju, South Korea). The Buddhist temple, after suffering a destructive fire, now stands restored but is only a fraction of its original size. The temple... [continue reading
The tomb of king Muryeong is perhaps one of the most impressive tombs from the Baekje kingdom of ancient Korea, both in its design and the treasure found inside it. Muryeong-Wang (also Munyeong or Muryong) reigned from 501 to 523 CE. Baekje (aka Paekche) was one of the Three Kingdoms which ruled over ancient Korea from the 1st century BCE to the 7th century... [continue reading
Neanderthals are an extinct group of fossil humans that appeared in Western Eurasia in the mid-Middle Pleistocene. They shared the stage with the first modern humans arriving in Europe from around 45,000 years ago, before disappearing from the fossil record between c. 40,000 - c. 30,000 years ago. Neanderthals were a highly successful... [continue reading
Korea, located on a large peninsula on the eastern coast of the Asian mainland, has been inhabited since Neolithic times. The first recognisable political state was Gojoseon, which existed in the second half of the first millennium BCE. From the 1st century BCE to the 7th century CE the peninsula was dominated by the kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo and Silla, along... [continue reading