Hwasun Dolmen Site
Hwasun Dolmen Site (Historic Site No. 410) was registered as the 997th World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. There are around 500 dolmens scattered around Hyosan-ri Dogok-myeon and Daesin-ri, Chunyang-myeon in Hwasun-gun.
A historian discovered the dolmen site hidden in the forest. When he was visiting the village, he found huge rocks standing in a row. He followed the row of rocks, which led him to the dolmen site.
One hundred rocks of capstone shape remain on the site. The bottom parts of these stones are buried underground or have collapsed. These dolmens were used for various types of tombs including stone chamber tombs, crock tombs, and plank chamber tombs. In addition, various relics such as stone tools, clayware, and bronze accessories as well as a quarry were uncovered at the site.
It is about 10 km from Hyosan-ri to Daesin-ri. You can start your tour from either place. On the path, you will see hundreds of dolmens on both sides.
There are 10 huge dolmens weighing over 100 tons each on the site. In particular, “Pingmaebawi” in Daesin-ri is the largest dolmen weighing 280 tons. It is 7.3 m long, 5.0 m wide, and 4.0 m high. It is actually the largest in the world. The phrase, “Yeoheungminssisejangsan (驪興閔氏世葬山)” is engraved on Pingmaebawi, which is evidence that the area was used as family cemetery for the Min clan of Yeoheung.
Passing the dolmen site and walking up the hill, you will come across a rock called “Gamtaebawi.” It was named after its shape, since it looks like a person wearing a “Gat” (traditional Korean hat). You can also see a capstone on another rock. This gives us important clues as to the process our ancestors used to establish dolmens. It is also believed that the nearby area served as a quarry. Another huge rock, “Gwancheongbawi” in Hyosan-ri, is estimated to be over 100 tons. It is 5.3 m long, 3.6 m wide, and 3.0 m high.
Dolmens in Hwasun are quite well preserved and serve as important clues of life during the prehistoric ages in Korea.
There are many types of dolmens, including those with upright stones, dolmens without upright stones, etc. Since the various types of dolmens are grouped together here, the site offers a good opportunity to learn about the funeral culture of prehistoric ages.
– User’s Guide –
The Hwasun Dolmen Festival has been held every year at Dolmen Park since 2003. There is a Prehistory Experience Hall operated by the Research Center of Dolmens in Northeast Asia (061-370-8831) in Hwasun-ri. The hall provides various activities such as tasting the food of prehistoric ages, making clayware, experiencing a dugout, and establishing a dolmen. The programs are from 14:00 to 17:00 on the fourth Saturday of every month from March to November. Programs may vary depending on the season. Reservation is required.
- Address: Jeollanam-do Hwasun-gun Chunyang-myeon Daesin-ri
- Phone number: 061-379-3907
- Website: http://www.dolmen.or.kr
- Hours of operation: 09:00 – 18:00
- Admission fee: Free
- Parking fees: Free
- Guided tour: Available upon request to the Hyosan-ri Management Office (061-379-3933, 3907)
- Photogenic spots: Flower-covered roads passing the dolmens