• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Susahn-ri Tomb
Northern Wall of the Main Chamber
TitleNorthern Wall of the Main Chamber
Northern Wall of the Main Chamber

This is a complete view of the timber framework depicted on the northern wall of the main chamber in Susahn-ri Tomb. The main chamber of Susahn-ri Tomb depicts a magnificent architectural structure that mimics wooden buildings. Elegant depictions of simple lambda-shaped (Λ) trusses, connecting nodes, and supports can be seen between the large and medium-sized joists on the walls, and they represent the framework of the roof structure. Depictions of the noble couple's daily lives under the magnificence of the double-joist architecture can be considered as a reflection of their extravagant lifestyles.
The four corners of the main chamber feature depictions of columns and support braces upon which the primary joist sits, spanning all four walls of the chamber. Short columns are placed above the primary joists and another set of braces above these columns support the secondary joists. Lambda-shaped (Λ) trusses are installed between the large primary joists and medium-sized secondary joists to securely support the weight of the roof.
The wooden framework is more ornate and meticulous than any other subject matter depicted in the main chamber. Unlike the simple arrangement of oddly-shaped cloud pattern decorations seen on depictions of wooden frameworks in other tomb murals, this framework features diverse triangular and rectangular geometric shapes in addition to the oddly-shaped cloud patterns. Notably, the oddly-shaped cloud patterns on the large and medium-sized joists are varied to avoid monotony. These pattern variations can also be seen on the braces supporting the large and medium-sized joists. The oddly-shaped cloud patterns on the primary joist are mirrored on the brace supporting the secondary joist, and the patterns on the secondary joist are mirrored on the brace supporting the primary joist in an alternating arrangement. The carved-in lotus decorations are colored in radiant yellow rather than the same red-brown color applied to the rest of the wooden columns. Similarly, the outlines are red instead of black. This unique layout produces an exotic effect resembling a combination of wood and marble.