Koguryo, the earliest feudal state of Korea, thrived between 277 B.C. and A.D. 668. The sun-shaped perforated gilt-bronze ornament stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of the Koguryo people.

Unearthed at Jinphari Tomb No. 7 in Ryongsan-ri, Ryokpho District of Pyongyang City, this artifact is revered for its unique design and intricate decorative patterns, making it a quintessential example of medieval Korean metalwork. Measuring 22.8 centimeters in length and 15 centimeters in height, it captivates with its beauty and historical significance.

Dr. Yun Kwang Su, a Researcher at the Archaeological Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences, provides insight into the ornament’s symbolism and craftsmanship. He explains, “The semicircular gilt-bronze plate, adorned with intricate bead patterns and a majestic tripodal crow representing the sun, is surrounded by a wide base fillet and arc fillet. The central design features a phoenix encircled by patterns of twirling dragon heads, with flaring flames adding to its grandeur.”

This sun-shaped ornament not only showcases the forward-thinking and optimistic spirit of the Koguryo people but also highlights their mastery of reticulation and delicate artistic skills. It serves as a cherished legacy, illustrating the evolution of perforated metalworks in Koguryo and is rightfully preserved as a national treasure.

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