Ancient Metal Type Found in Kaesong

      December 01, 2015 10:34

      A piece of Koryo-era metal type predating what is believed to be the world's oldest book printed with movable metal type in 1377, has been unearthed in the North Korean border town of Kaesong.

      The piece was excavated from Manwoldae, a Koryo Dynasty palace in Kaesong, during a joint-Korean project, said Choi Kwang-sik of Korea University who leads the project.

      The project team told reporters that 19 sites of buildings were uncovered and about 3,500 items, including inscribed roof tiles, pieces of celadon, and dragon finials, were unearthed during the excavation that started in June.

      A piece of metal type found during a recent excavation at Manwoldae in Kaesong, from different angles /Yonhap

      The Manwoldae was built by King Taejo, the founder of the Koryo Kingdom, at the foot of Mt. Songak in Kaesong in 919. It was burned down during a Red Turban invasion in the last years of the kingdom.

      Since 2007, archaeologists from both Koreas have jointly excavated the site.

      "We need to conduct follow-up research of the metal type including when it was made, what kind of font was used, and what it was made from," Choi said. "We discussed with North Korean historians a way to carry out a radiocarbon dating and other investigations because there are still traces of ink on the metal type."

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