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.
Balhae (698-926 CE) was established by Dae Jo-yeong, a former military general, who gathered about 8000 migrants of Goguryeo (37 BCE – 668 CE) in the area around Mount Dongmou. At its height, Balhae occupied an enormous territory encompassing the entire Korean Peninsula north of the Daedonggang, as well as Liaoning (遼寧省), Jilin (吉林省), and Heilongjang (黑龍江省) of China, and the Maritime Province of Russia. Balhae used a wide range of cultural institutions to actively cultivate an advanced civilization, leading
To effectively rule such a huge territory, Balhae had five gyeong (provinces) and moved its capital city several times. The capital cities of Sanggyeong, Junggyeong, and Donggyeong all featured impressive architecture and exquisite artworks, such as roof tiles, bricks, dragon heads, potteries, weapons, and various Buddhist sculptures.
Balhae enjoyed a vibrant exchange with Unified Silla, as well as the Tang Dynasty and