Anchor: The Gaya Tumuli, a group of seven burial mounds from Korea's ancient Gaya Confederacy, has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The World Heritage Committee assessed that the tumuli hold "outstanding universal value" as sites of important evidence of the diversity found among ancient East Asian civilizations.
Our Bae Joo-yon has more.
Report: The World Heritage Committee decided on Sunday to add the Gaya Tumuli on the heritage list during its 45th session in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The burial mounds, all state-designated cultural properties located in both Gyeongsang provinces and North Jeolla Province, are assessed to be key historic sites that offer a glimpse of Gaya's cultural establishment, development and identity.
The committee said “through their geographical distribution and landscape characteristics, types of burials, and grave goods, the cemeteries attest to the distinctive Gaya political system in which polities existed as autonomous political equals while sharing cultural commonalities.”
The Gaya Confederacy refers to some ten small kingdoms that prospered around the Nakdong River between the first and sixth centuries.
Unlike the kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which existed around the same period, the lack of reference to Gaya in historical records has led the mounds to be regarded as a vital heritage asset in research about the kingdom.
In reaching its latest decision, the committee urged South Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration to acquire the privately-owned lots in the tumuli sites to stably preserve the burial mounds and to set up an integrated management system for them.
With the latest inscription, South Korea now has 16 entries on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Bae Joo-yon, KBS World Radio News.