• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Tokhung-ri Tomb
Sectional View (Western)
TitleSectional View (Western)
Sectional view (Western)
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This is the sectional view of the eastern side of Tokhung-ri Tomb. Tokhung-ri Tomb utilizes a two-chamber structure. The image shows (right to left) the entrance passage, antechamber, middle passage, and the main chamber. Virtually every surface of the chambers and the middle passage are decorated with brilliant murals.
The antechamber is smaller than the main chamber. The antechamber walls gently curve inward to create a dome-like vaulted ceiling with two tiers of parallel supporting stones at the very top. The dome-like ceiling is essentially flat in contrast to a staggered caisson ceiling, and the large surface area is suitable for depicting the heavens. The walls feature murals with depictions of columns, beams, joists, and other wooden architectural elements. This can be considered an excellent example of how the spiritual world was perceived during the Koguryo era, as people of the time believed that the bodies and souls of the deceased continued to reside inside tombs. Therefore, tombs mimicked the actual structures of houses. The antechamber correlates to an outbuilding or guest room of a house, and the primary themes for its murals include outings, government affairs (of the deceased), daily life within a Government House, and other similar public events. The mural in the image is a depiction of Jin's government affairs.
Murals have been painted on both walls of the middle passage that connects the antechamber and main chamber. The mural in the image is a depiction of an outing by Provincial Governor Jin and his wife.
The main chamber, where the sarcophagus is located, would be where the couple actually slept. Thus, the contents of the murals feature private affairs. The main chamber murals depict more private, personal matters in contrast to the husband and wife portrait, Seven-Treasure Ceremony (a type of Buddhist ceremony), mounted archery, and horse stable imagery painted on the northern wall. A Seven-Treasure Ceremony and a lotus pond can be seen in the image. The ceiling is a combination of a dome-like structure and parallel supporting stones. Architectural elements such as joists or beams that mimic wooden building structures convey the sense of being in an actual house. A sarcophagus made of large stone slabs is located on the northern end of the main chamber.