Gold leaf artifact with ultra-thin engraving from Gyeongju unveiled
Updated: 2022-06-20 07:09:27 KST
"This can't be something that's man-made."
The words of experts after seeing a gold leaf artifact unearthed from South Korea's Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond in November, 2016.
Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage finally unveiled this sophisticated, outstanding gilt relic from the eighth century on Thursday.
The artifact was initially discovered as two separate pieces situated approximately twenty meters apart from one another.
But after going through a conservation process, it was found to have been one single artifact.
Bird and flower patterns are intricately engraved on the thinly, spread out gold that measures 3.6-centimeters by 1.1-7-centimeters.
The jaw-dropping patterns are carved at a thickness of point-zero-five millimeters.
That's finer than a human hair and even difficult to see with the naked eye.
Experts all agree that this artifact displays the essence of eighth century Unified Silla Period metalwork.
"Delicately having all the elements one would want with flawless technology, it is not an exaggeration to say this is a global-level craftwork."
Experts say gold leaf engraved with these patterns also reveals western influences but ones which have been transformed in Silla's own unique way.
"We can see the outstanding craftsmanship of Silla artisans from that time, showing the pinnacle of metalwork technology and the culture of that time. I hope this artifact can trigger more research on Silla-period metal craftwork."
This outstanding relic will be on display for the public at the Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage until October 31st through an exhibition titled "The Blooming Flowers and Birds on 3cm Gold Leaf."
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang news.