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25 June 2005
Ancient Korean brick well unearthed

Another brick well in the earthen wall located in Raknang District, Pyongyang, was recently discovered by Archaeologists at the History Department of Kim Il Sung University. The sites of government office buildings, houses, barracks and three wells were found in the wall as well as groups of tombs in the shapes of wooden boxes and cribs and bricks around it.
     The 1.5-km earthen wall belongs to the period of the minor state of Raknang, which was established by the people of the ruined Ancient Korea (early 30th century BCE-108 BCE), built from a slope of Mt. Obong to the end of a hillock on the River Taedong.
     The recently unearthed well, about 45 metres northeast from the wall, is 0.78 metre in diameter and 4.5 metres deep. It is almost vertical down to 3.9 metres from the ground. Its wall was built with 69 layers of grey bricks. Each brick is 30 by 15 by 5 centimetres with different patterns on its sides. The space behind the wall was crammed with clay, gravel and broken bricks. The gap between bricks was wedged with trimmed brickbats.
     The size, colour, material and shape of the bricks are almost similar to those used in laying the chamber of tombs around the Raknang earthen wall. The brick are made very hard by mixing clay with a little amount of sand and firing them. This gives evidence to a high level of baking technology in those days.
     Many relics such as earthenware, roof tiles and ironware were also collected in the well.
     Fifteen of the more than 70 pieces of earthenware discovered have their original shapes and 56 more pieces can be restored to their original state. The deep blue-grey, black and dark brown earthenware pieces have a smooth surface, outward mouth, short neck and round body, belonging to the flat pottery.  Their quality and pattern are better than those produced in the period of Ancient Korea. Most of them, including blue-grey and black pots, are similar to those found in a well in Kosan-dong, a relic from Koguryo Kingdom.
     The two pieces of ironware were badly oxidized, one of which is of the present-day key shape and the other is of a little angled ring shape.
The pieces of roof tiles are patterned with strings on the front and a straw mat at the back.

Source: korea.be (21 June 2005)

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