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2016 International Symposium on Amsa-dong Prehistoric Site to be Held$On October 7th, the “International Symposium for the Registration of Amsa-dong Prehistoric Site as a UNESCO World Heritage” will be held in the International Conference Room on the 20th floor of the Korea Press Center.


On October 7th, the “International Symposium for the Registration of Amsa-dong Prehistoric Site as a UNESCO World Heritage” will be held in the International Conference Room on the 20th floor of the Korea Press Center. This symposium has been prepared to review various examples of prehistoric remains in countries around the world and, through comparative analysis, reflect on the unique and special values of the Amsa-dong site.
Sarah Nelson, Professor at the University of Denver, and Peter Bellwood, Professor at the Australian National University, will each make keynote speeches on “New Perspective on Korean Archaeology” and “Southeast Asian New Stone Age Culture”, respectively. Having earned her doctorate at the University of Michigan with a “Study on New Stone Age’s Comb-patterned Pottery found in the Han River Basin” and created an independent department of Korean archaeology in the Worldwide Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology, Professor Nelson is an unquestioned global expert in Korean prehistoric culture studies. Professor Bellwood is also a world-renowned archaeologist who has studied the cultures of mankind with a focus on prehistoric remains in Asia.
In addition to Nelson and Bellwood, many domestic and international experts will present their studies and participate as a discussion panel. The list of participants includes Matsuura Yuichiro (Tokyo National Museum), Kim Young-hee (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Eusebio Dizon (National Museum of the Philippines), Yunus Arbi (Ministry of Education & Culture, Indonesia) and Hsiu-Tzu Wu (Yingge Ceramics Museum, New Taipei City).
Until now, Gangdong-gu has formed the “Promotion Committee for Registration as a World Heritage Site” in 2014 to seek strategic consulting and monitor the detailed progress and also cooperate with the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government to constantly pursue precise investigation and discoveries of historical remains. Currently, it operates “Amsa-dong Site Promotion Group” based on its residents’ wishes for the registration and conducts a campaign to obtain signatures from the public. The international symposium is another of Gangdong-gu’s grand projects to aid the preparation for the site’s registration as a World Heritage.
During a recent excavation of the remains found at the site in Amsa-dong, Seoul, conducted in cooperation with CHA and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, remnants of dwellings and nearly 1,000 pieces of artifacts of the New Stone Age and the Three Kingdoms Period were discovered. In particular, jewelry and accessories made of jade were found within the New Stone Age residences, gathering much interest from the field.
Thus far, the importance of prehistoric remains has not been emphasized much compared to historical remains primarily because of their image as buried cultural properties and lack of tangible appeal to attract people. No remains of East Asia have ever been registered as a World Heritage Site. However, as excavation of such valuable artifacts continues to take place, a global movement, particularly in China and Japan, is in progress to register their own prehistoric remains of the New Stone Age as a World Heritage Site.
Gangdong-gu is determined to establish and develop the international symposium as an annual event that acts as a global leader in prehistoric culture and world heritage. Furthermore, it plans to actively apply the items discussed during the symposium into the preservation of the Amsa-dong Site and also utilize them in the establishment of policies related to World Heritage registration.


<Related Photos>

  • Amsa-dong Prehistoric Site

    Photo of an Exposed Dwelling during an Excavation Investigation of the Amsa-dong Site, Seoul in 2016

    Amsa-dong Prehistoric Site

    Jewelry made of Jade Found within a New Stone Age Residence