Familiarize yourselves with the tourists.
Brief introduction of prehistoric and Neolithic ages in front of the timeline
Everyone! We are in the prehistoric settlement sites in Amsadong.
- What is prehistoric ages? What is the difference between prehistoric and historic ages? Can anyone guess?
We know about the past mainly through written records. However, people of the prehistoric ages did not have language. So, scientists use nothing but the artifacts to analyze the lives of prehistoric ages.
- What is Neolithic period?
Prehistoric age is divided into Paleolithic, Neolithic, bronze, and iron age according to the types of tools that they used. Different from the Paleolithic era in which people used flaked stone tools, the main tool of the Neolithic era was the grinded stone tool. The artifacts that you are about to see shows that the people of the Neolithic period grinded stone to create tools. As you may have guessed from the name of this place, one of the many characteristics of the Neolithic era is that people settled down. Previously, people were nomads following animals and fruits. However, with the Neolithic revolution, people settled down. This was because the development of tools allowed people to sustain their lives in one location by farming and fishing. Given that Amsadong is near the Han river, people started to farm millet and fish at the same time. Thus, food flourished which increased the population.
If you look closely, you will be able to see a lot of holes. Those holes were used for three major purposes. Firstly, people during the Neolithic era fixed clay pots in the ground to store foods. Secondly, the holes can be seen as the evidence that the Neolithians used pillars to build houses. Lastly, the hole in the middle was used to store fire which raised the temperature in the house and cooked.
As you see, the house is dug out from the ground. The reason they started to live underground is that the house was warmer during winters and cooler during summers.
Here, only the dugout sites of the settle remain. However, the people raised pillars and covered them with reed and Eulalia
- Do you see the beveled surface? Can you guess what they are?
Those are fossils of acorns and wooden pillars that got burnt in fire. Unfortunately, this house was burnt down by a fire. However, because of the accident, the evidences that show the lives of the people remain. Also, the burnt down remains allowed the scientists to carbon date the evidence which proved that these artifacts are from the Neolithic period. The fire was unfortunate for the settlers. Yet it is fortunate for us that they remained for us to research.
Net weights were tools that helped nets to sink better. A distinct characteristic of the net weights is that they have dents on the side. The dents were used to keep the stones from slipping out of the net.
Joint fishing hook is a fishing hook made by joining stones with animal bones. Animal bones were weak that they broke easily and the stones were not sharp enough. So, the joint fishing hooks combined the advantages of the two materials to fish better.
People started to hunt better because of the development of tool. They grinded stones to make them sharp which enhanced the function of stone knives and arrow tips.
They used these stone grinders to cook acorns and other grains.
These are dolls and clamp masks. The real artifacts are smaller than what they appear to be in the picture. So, they were not used for practical uses. Yet, it is an artifact that allows us to glimpse at the beliefs of the Neolithic people. These masks and dolls were made in hope of prosperity.
As seen in the name, the comb patterned clay pots are designed with comb patterns. We predict that the Neolithic people were inspired by the rain to design the clay pot.
Apart from the simple rain design, the pots have other designs. The upper section usually is patterned with parallel slanted lines inspired by the rain. The pattern in the middle section is called 어골무늬 which means the fish bone pattern. The lower section was either inscribed with the comb pattern or the fish bone pattern.
There were many functions of these clay pots. They were used to both cook and store foods. We have mentioned that the pots were fixed on the ground, right? It was because the clay pots had a pointy bottom like this.
The settlement site that we have seen inside was covered like this. The cover was made by straw.
There are more than one or two houses. Neolithic people formed communities where many families were joint together. This shows their social life.
The structure on top of the house is called 까치집 which means the sparrow nest. It functioned as a chimney so that the smoke from the fire inside the house could easily go out of the house.
The Amsa settlement site has interactive programs in which you can experience history thorugh many activities. You can choose to make comb patterned pots, miniature houses, arrow and bows, or clamp masks.
Did you enjoy the time here? Amsa settlement site is on its way of becoming recognized as a UNESCO cultural cultural heritage. We would appreciate if you participated in the campaign. Your awareness will help us.