• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Anak Tomb No. 3
Northern Wall of the Antechamber
TitleNorthern Wall of the Antechamber

A distinct key feature of Anak Tomb No. 3 is the four stone columns that partition the antechamber and the main chamber. Antechambers and main chambers of other tombs are generally separated by an actual wall with a passageway or threshold. Of the four stone columns, three in the western section are octagonal in shape, and the rectangular capitals (architecture: topmost member of a column) support and distribute the weight of the joist directly above. The front faces of the capitals, facing the antechamber, feature Guimyeon (demon mask) imagery, and the sides are decorated with lotus patterns. Unlike the remaining columns, the easternmost stone column is rectangular in shape, and a beam rests on its capital. However, the front face of the capital still features Guimyeon (demon mask) imagery, and the sides are decorated with lotus patterns.
This type of architectural element and mural content can also be seen in the Han Dynasty stone tomb with pictorial reliefs in Yinan County, Shandong Province, China. Tombs constructed with stones featuring reliefs and engravings were prevalent during the Han Dynasty. This is a clear indication of the cultural exchanges between the two regions.