Burial Chamber of King Muryeong

Baekje, 523 AD
Songsan-ri Burial Mounds, Gongju, Korea

This photo looks north towards the rear of the chamber. The barrel-vaulted interior is constructed of bricks that are laid out in alternating courses of soldiers (uprights) and stretchers (horizontals). Its dimensions (J. W. Best, "Buddhism and Polity in Early Sixth-Century Paekche," Korean Studies, Vol. 26, 2002) are 1.04m wide x 2.9m long x 1.45m high (3.4' x 9.5' x 4.76') for the entry passage, and 2.72m wide x 4.2m long x 2.93 high (8.9' x 13.8' x 9.6') for the chamber.

The architect evidently gave some thought to these proportions:

  • entrance length = chamber height
  • entrance height = 1/2 chamber height
  • entrance width = 1/4 chamber length = 1/3 chamber height