Seoul, July 22 (ANI): In a historic discovery, a collection of fifth-century scale armor of Silla Dynasty cavalrymen was unearthed last month in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, Korea, providing proof of the existence of these mythical men.
According to a report in JoongAng Daily, the armor of the heavily protected cavalrymen of the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. - A.D. 935) - proof of which has previously existed only in paintings - was discovered in the ancient tombs of the Jjoksaem District of Hwango-dong, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang.
The Jjoksaem District has the largest concentration of ancient Silla Dynasty tombs in Korea.
The armor was believed to have been used by Silla warriors sometime between the fourth and sixth centuries.
Although the discovery may not be as impressive as the terra-cotta figures of ancient China, it is just as important to the field of archaeology in Korea.
This is the first time such a vast array of the armor of the cavalrymen of the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C. - A.D. 668) has been unearthed in such good condition. The Three Kingdoms era in Korea refers to the period in which three kingdoms - Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla - ruled the country.
Last month, archaeologists at the Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and officials of the Cultural Heritage Administration opened the excavation site to the public.
The armor on display included complete sets of scale armor and barding, or armor for horses.
"This is the first time in East Asia that such complete sets of the armor of the heavily armed cavalrymen have been found," said Lee Geon-mu, the chief of the Cultural Heritage Administration. "It's also the first evidence of the existence of the Silla cavalrymen," he added.
Evidence of the heavily armed cavalrymen of the Silla Dynasty previously existed only in murals.
Archaeologists say that the pieces provide an important clue as to how the Silla Dynasty adopted the use of heavily armed cavalrymen from Goguryeo and used them to strengthen their national defense capabilities.
The use of cavalrymen in this way enabled Silla to eventually conquer Goguryeo and Baekje and unify the peninsula.
Silla conquered Baekje in 660 and Goguryeo in 668. Thereafter, Unified Silla occupied most of the Korean Peninsula. (ANI)