Historical written sources related to the construction of the successive walls of the city of Kaesong, capital of the Koryŏ Kingdom (918–1392), are biased and partial. They rarely provide details about the exact configuration of the defence systems, the evolution of construction techniques, modifications, or repairs, and they do not explain the transformation of the city.
The research we conducted on the structures and successive boundaries of the walls of Kaesong not only provide a significant contribution to the historical and material knowledge of the city, but also constitute the scientific basis for the development of an operational heritage management strategy.
In 2011, the Archaeological Mission at Kaesong (supported by the Commission for Archaeological Research Abroad of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs) was established, involving the French School of Asian Studies and the National Authority for Protection of Cultural Heritage, DPR Korea. In 2014, an exhibition presenting the first results was held in Pyongyang. Since 2018, research has been extended to royal tombs distributed outside the enclosures of the city of Kaesong. This lecture will outline the progress of this unprecedented cooperation.
Élisabeth Chabanol is Associate Professor at the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO). She specializes in Korean art history, archeology, and heritage. She is the head of the Seoul Centre of the EFEO and director of the Archaeological Mission at Kaesong. She is the coeditor (with Ro Chol Su) of Chosŏn-P’ŭransŭ Kaesong sŏng kongdong chosa palgul (2017) and the author of “Kaesong, 1630: une stèle méritoire en l’honneur du secrétaire général O Tan” (Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie, 2019).
This hybrid lecture will be held on site (email required in advance) and via Zoom (meeting ID: 815 7645 5692).
The meeting link will remain posted on the ISEAS website top page from October 29.