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Secret of Bannam ancient tombs

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By Kim Jin-hyeon

Last month I traveled to the Bannam ancient tombs in Naju, South Jeolla Province, where dozens of huge burials, including for royal families, exist at Mount Jami.

Under the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule, two of them were excavated by Japanese archaeologists for 10 days each in 1917 and 1918. Remains such as crowns and accessories were uncovered. Such valuable relics encouraged grave robbers to plunder them until the 1970s. Still worse, many were destroyed by ignorant farmers.

Nevertheless, the huge monuments and their unique styles have given visitors a strong curiosity. Scholars guess that they were dug in the 6th and 7th centuries by an ancient kingdom called Mahan.

When Mahan was strong, it had 54........

© The Korea Times