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.
After the fall of Gojoseon (108 BCE), the KoreanPeninsula was divided among a number of local dominions. Buyeo (2 BCE – 494 CE) and Goguryeo (37 BCE – 668 CE) ruled the northeast area near China, with Okjeo and Dongye also occupying northern areas, while the central part of the peninsula was controlled by Samhan, which comprised the confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan. The levels of social development of these early civilizations varied according to their national power and location. Over time, Buyeo and Goguryeo grew into ancient states by asserting their capabilities in both culture and warfare. As a result of various conflicts, Goguryeo took control of Okjeo and Dongye, while Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan integrated into Baekje (18 BCE – 660 CE), Silla (57 BCE – 676 CE), and Gaya (42-562 CE).