A Material Characteristic Study on the Sword with an Undecorated Ring Pommel of the Ancient Tombs of Jeongchon, Bogam-Ri, Naju

나주 복암리 정촌고분 출토 소환두도의 재료학적 특성

  • Received : 2019.06.07
  • Accepted : 2019.08.05
  • Published : 2019.09.30

Abstract

The sword with a ring pommel, which was excavated from the first stone chamber of the ancient tombs of Jeongchon Village in Naju, is a sword with a pentagon undecorated ring pommel consisting of a mother sword and two child swords. The sword with an undecorated ring pommel of Jeongchon comprises a ring pommel, a hilt, a knife, and a knife end decoration. This sword was coated with lacquer. The ring pommel is an iron frame covered with silver plate; however the silver tarnished into a light purple due to silver chloride corrosion, and iron corrosion originated from the inside is visible on the surface. Silver chloride corrosion is produced when silver objects are exposed to water, dissolved salts, and dissolved chloride ions when in a buried state. It changes objects into powder, making it difficult to preserve original shapes. The other silver artifacts found in the Jeongchon ancient tombs show similar signs of corrosion. The results of X-ray irradiation and a CT analysis showed that the sword had a ring at the end of the handle, a T-shaped hilt, and was probably connected to the handle end of a knife. If the shape of the mother sword can be inferred from the child swords, the mother sword had a ring pommel, decorations of the handle, covered with silver plate, and a gold ring and a silver line wound around the handle. It is assumed that the ring pommel was connected to the knife by welding because no holes were observed. The end decoration of the knife was made by using an iron plate formed into a shape, half covered by silk, and the other half decorated with silver plate and a gold ring. The sword with an undecorated ring pommel excavated from the ancient tombs of Jeongchon Village comprises the metals of gold, silver, and iron, and includes features of Baekje, Silla, and Gaya, which highlights the influence of surrounding historic sites and various cultures.

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