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Funeral Pottery of Korea in the 1st–10th Centuries: Iconography and Style

Student: Daria Zaklinskaia

Supervisor: Anna Guseva

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: History of Arts (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2018

It is important to note that the main excavations and studies of burial in Korea began only in the second half of the 20th century (except for a few non-professional excavations of the Japanese occupation period) and are actively being continued nowadays. Nevertheless, despite the fact that a great number of tombs of those periods have been preserved, the range of monuments is rather limited, since many of the burials have been looted. The objects found in the tombs are attributed and often fairly well described. However, currently there is no systematic study of these objects. The purpose of this research is to identify the stylistic and iconographic features of Korean funerary pottery of periods of the Three Kingdoms and the Unified Silla by examining ceramic vessels and figurines and comparing them to similar Chinese and Middle Eastern stoneware of that time or earlier. The project raises problems of history of Korean pottery from tombs and its place in Korean art. The object of the study is the Korean funeral ceramics of the 1st–10th centuries. The subject is the iconography and style of these ceramics. In the course of the study, the main native Korean stylistic and iconographic solutions concerning burial figurative ceramics were identified. This work showed that the local tradition in the figurative funerary ceramics of Korea from the 1st till the middle of the 10th century was strong, and therefore the iconography of this ceramics is mostly native Korean, while style borrowings show that the Korean states actively interacted with neighboring countries and tribes. However, even while borrowing the form or style of execution of objects, the inhabitants of the peninsula processed and interpreted the subjects in their own way.

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