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One of the ways in which archeologists study the past is by studying the tombs left from the past. In Korea, there are many sites that contain tombs from various periods in Korean history. Let’s take a look at some of these tombs:
The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (조선왕릉) is located in Gyeonggi Province (경기도), Gangwon Province (강원도) and Seoul (서울). There are about forty royal tombs for various Korean kings and queens and about thirteen tombs for crown princes and their wives and concubines. The tombs are scattered over eighteen different places, but most of the tombs are in Seoul. Today, tourists can still see the tombs, but they are restricted from walking in certain areas because these areas are considered sacred.
The Royal Tombs of the Koryo Dynasty (고려왕릉) are located in North Korea. The capital city of the Koryo Dynasty was Kaesong (개성), which is located in present day North Korea. Not all the tombs have been identified, but we do know that some of the tombs belonged to deceased Koryo Kings and Queens. Some of the tombs are in poor shape because they have been neglected by the North Korean government, but the ones that are properly maintained have various stone guardians that guard the tomb.
The Complex of Goguryeo Tombs (고구려 고분군) is also located in North Korea. There are about thirty or so tombs the area, which is not considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These tombs are very important because they are pretty much all that remain from the Goguryeo Era. The tombs itself are important, but the murals within the tombs and the items buried along the tombs present a unique insight about Goguryeo life.