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Korean J Art Hist > Volume 303; 2019 > Article
Korean Journal of Art History 2019;303:73-98.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31065/ahak.303.303.201909.003    Published online September 30, 2019.
康津 月南寺址 三層石塔 造成時期와 性格
진 정 환
Dating and Construction Background of the Three-Story Stone Pagoda at Weolnamsa Temple Site at Gangjin
Jeong-hwan Jin
Curator, Gwangju National Museum
Received: 13 May 2019   • Revised: 14 June 2019   • Accepted: 4 July 2019
Weolnamsa Temple site is situated in Weolnam-ri, Seongjeon-myeon, Gangjin-gun, Jeollanam-do. A three-story stone pagoda, designated as a Treasure, and a stele of the National Preceptor Jingak Hyeshim(1178-1234) stands at the site. As excavations have continued for the last few years, the original appearance of the temple is being revealed. However, the three-story stone pagoda is not yet fully understood, even the opinions on its construction date varying from the Later Baekje period to the time of Jingak Hyeshim. The confusions in the previous attempts at dating the pagoda are due to the unconventional style of the monument, likely caused by “imitation without understanding” and “misunderstanding of the principles” when raising the pagoda. As it is hard to date the pagoda based only on stylistic analysis, comparisons with other periods—Baekje, Unified Silla, Later Baekje, and Goryeo—, and analysis of its historical background were made in this study. The construction date of the pagoda can be put to the period between the last quarter of the 11th century and the third quarter of the 12th century. A roof tile, excavated at the site further narrows down the date. It was inscribed with the words, “Deputy Village Headman Cho” and “First Year of [missing], Year of Gisa.” As a roof tile of the same shape, marked with the same name of the “Deputy Village Headman Cho” was found inside the Kiln No. 3 at Bokam-ri, Naju-shi, whose date was determined by archeomagnetic methods, the roof tile and the pagoda can be dated to around 1149. Moreover, this roof tile serves as an evidence that the pagoda was likely made by a Town Association headed by the Deputy Village Headman, named Cho, as an attempt to rebuild and consolidate the regional community, based on the Geomantic Theory to complement terrain with temple and pagoda, of the late Unified Silla. In conclusion, the site of Weolnamsa Temple was a place of Buddhist worship since Baekje period. It was named as Songgye Meditational Hall in the late Unifed Silla and led by monk Simhee of Bongrimsanmun. In the Later Three Kingdoms period, its religious functions were temporarily lost as the area was at the center of power struggles between Taebong(later Goryeo), and Later Baekje. However, as the pagoda was erected in the mid-12th century, the site was re-established as a place of worship and connected to Suseonsa Temple by 13th century. The importance of this temple in Goryeo Buddhism is evident in the fact that a stele of Hyeshim was erected at the temple after his death.

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