The Prehistory and Ancient History section displays artifacts that represent some of the earliest evidence of Korean civilization and culture, from stone tools of the Paleolithic
age to gold jewelry of the Silla Kingdom to stone monoliths of the Balhae era, with each
room documenting those aspects which uniquely defined each of Korea’s different
periods of ancient history.
In the Neolithic Age (8000 BCE – 1400 BCE), people began adapting to their changing natural environments after the Ice Age. The period is marked by the creation of earthenware pieces and ground stone tools, and the foundation of the first settlements. Thus far, about 400 Neolithic ruins have been found throughout
Neolithic people built dugout huts near seas or rivers, where food and water were most abundant, and they actively practiced fishing, hunting, and gathering wild plants. This period also saw the introduction of the first crude forms of agriculture with the cultivation of Italian millets and common millets. Tools and weapons made from ground stone and bone enhanced people’s ability to get food, while earthenware enabled them to store and cook the food. They wore simple forms of clothing, made from woven thread or animal skins, and decorated themselves with jade, animal bones, horns, and shells. Also, they actively engaged with various groups around the Japanese archipelago, Northeast China, and the