Thursday, October 14, 2010

Amsadong : Prehistoric Settlement Site

By Shim Hyun-chul

The beginning of civilization meant many things. Our ancestors would create fire with wood and flint, while they fed themselves on fish caught from streams and lakes nearby. Sometimes, plants and wild animals also made a good meal. Eventually, these primitive humans would create a culture of their own, building huts and making small pots and earthenware.

In 1925, remains of earthenware that date back 3,000 to 4,000 years were discovered after a flood washed away the area of Amsa-dong, Gangdong-gu, southeastern Seoul. The Amsadong Prehistoric Site was excavated from 1967 and was later designated as National Historic Site No. 267 in 1979. Opened to the public in 1988, some 190,000 people have paid visits to the historical site. In 2002, the area went through a facelift and finally reopened as the Amsadong Prehistoric Settlement Site on Oct. 5.

At the village, which has been recreated on a 102,001 square foot area in Amsa-dong, visitors can experience various activities. It offers a special time for everyone who seeks to experience the primitive ages of our ancestors.

The newly restored village is 23,208 square meters in size and includes numerous programs and activity sites such as the ``Path of Time,’’ ``The Stream of Memories,’’ a village of huts, fishing sites, hunting sites and also excavation sites.

Visitors can walk into the ``Cave of Time’’ located next to the entrance, where they can learn more about the village’s history through eight screens. As soon as you walk out the cave, you can find some ancient huts. Peek inside, and you can discover how the villagers survived their dangerous world.

Next to the huts is a stream called ``The Stream of Memories,’’ and visitors can catch fish ``old-style’’ with simple tools.

At the hunting sites, visitors can try using bows and throwing axes at replicas of animals.

During the summer, the site is also planning to offer a camping program that will last two days for students.

The Amsa-dong Prehistoric Settlement Site is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit

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