Would people of Silla enjoy playing Go games with pebble stones?

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 9:33 PM CDT

GYEONGJU, South Korea, June 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage(the GNRICH) released a report on the 28th that says people of Silla might have used Go games as means of diplomatic sports.

On last 2020, a lot of pebble stones were excavated, which are presumed to be Go stones, in a wooden chamber tomb covered by stone and earthen mound at "Jjoksaem excavation site."

The owner of the tomb is estimated to be a Silla royal woman about 150 centimeters tall, who lived 1500 years ago.

It is interesting that Go stones of Silla were all excavated in the tombs of the highest ruling class of Silla.

For this reason, it was suggested that 860 pieces of Go stones were buried together with a woman of the Silla royal family so that she can play Go games in the world after death.

At the end of last April, a unique archaeological experiment was conducted to figure out the exact use of these pebble stones.

'Cheonnyeon-Sudam, A Go game competition of Silla,' playing Go game with excavated Go stones, was broadcast live through the YouTube channel of 'BADUK TV' and 'Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage,' on April 28.

Kim Sung-bae, a chief director of Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, said "This competition is a kind of 'experimental archaeology' to figure out if playing Go game with Go stones of Silla period is actually possible."

Meanwhile, according to the Chinese history documents 'Gudangseo' and 'Sindangseo,' it is said that there were a lot of people who were good at playing Go game in Silla, and even China sent an envoy to let him compete with people of Silla.

Since Silla people are good at Go game, Yang Gye-eung was appointed as an envoy and sent to Silla to compete with them. -'Sindangseo' Vol.220

According to the document, the institute is presuming that Go game was not only enjoyed as an entertainment by Silla royal families but they were also encouraged as "diplomatic sports" to communicate with other nations such as China.

Website: https://nrich.go.kr/english/index.do

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SOURCE The Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage

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