Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Royal Bones of Ancient Korean Kingdom We Are Studying

Silla is the ancient kingdom originally located in southeast area of Korean peninsula. They annexed every other neighbors, becoming the first kingdom unifying ancient Korean people for the first time.

For the details of Silla history, you can visit here.

Before Silla extended their political and cultural influences into the area, there were many small kingdoms, with a total autonomy. They Korean historians called them Jinhan Confederacy. They fought, and sometimes cooperated each other until the final unification

In the 1980's, archaeologists in Yeoungnam University Museum  investigated royal tombs of Apdok-guk, one of the small countries. And they discovered many pieces of splendid cultural remains, showing even the kings of small regional sovereignty enjoyed all the comfort and convenience of living in a well established societies.      

Tombs of Apdok Kings

The remains collected from the tombs of Apdok kings were not limited to cultural ones. When the archaeologists opened the tombs, they discovered innumerable human and animal bones there. Considering that there were very few ancient skeletons maintained in the museum and institutes in Korea, this was the discovery very significant to related researchers. In 2012, some of archaeological scientists, including us, started to examine and made inventory of the bones. This project would be supported by National Research Foundation of Korea, for 3 years. As a biological anthropologist, we will do ancient DNA analysis for them, getting genetic profiles of the people buried in the tombs. This would be the one of the largest full-scale aDNA analyses performed on ancient Korean skeletons ever.

Excavation of the tomb (linked to 한국민족대백과)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Paleoparasitology Based On Historical Texts

Under the collaboration with historian, I am currently writing about how the higher prevalence rate of soil transmitted parasite infection could be achieved among Old Seoul City people of Joseon dynasty. As you know, the epidemiological studies would be used if we want to know the mechanism of infections observed among living people. However, we could not use such a technique for hundred year old cases.... This could be achieved only by epdemiological consideration based on historical studies.. We will finish our work within a few month. 

And this study would be presented to the colleagues in the other countries... at the meetings like WORLD MUMMY CONGRESS in Rio, Brazil.