Korean Archaeological Society

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Korean Archaeological Society
Hangul 한국 고고학회
Hanja 韓國考古學會
Revised Romanization Hanguk Gogohakhoe
McCune–Reischauer Hanguk Kogohakhoe

The Korean Archaeological Society is a professional and scholarly association of archaeologists in the Republic of Korea. The Society publishes the peer-reviewed 'Journal of the Korean Archaeological Society' (Hanguk Kogo-Hakbo, Hanja: 韓國考古學報). This journal is the Korean equivalent of scholarly archaeological journals such as American Antiquity, Kaogu, Antiquity, and Kokogaku Kenkyu. The Society also hosts a national conference every year in early November.

This storied organization has been around in one form or another since the Koreanization of archaeology began in the wake of colonial period of Korea (c. 1910-1945). Antecedents of the Korean Archaeological Society include the 'Korean Art Historical Society' (Hanguk Misulsa Hakhwoe) and 'Korean Archaeology and Ancient Art History Society' (Gogo Misul Dongin Hwoe, Hanja:考古美術同人會), the latter of which was formed in 1961. The first issue of the journal 'Archaeology and Ancient Art History' (Gogo Misul, Hanja: 考古美術) was published the previous year. In 1968 the name of the journal was changed to 'Studies in Art History' (Misulsahak Yeongu, Hanja: 美術史硏究).

Origins of the Korean Archaeological Society[edit]

The year 1967 also marked the foundation of another academic society by Kim Je-won, the Head of the Korean National Museum, along with a small coterie of scholars including Kim Won-yong, Kim Jeong-gi, Yun Mu-byeong, Han Byeong-sam, Im Hyo-jae, and several others (Yoon 2006:265). These scholars were concerned about publicizing archaeological excavations in Korea more than anything else, and together they published the first issue of a journal called 'Archaeology' (Gogohak) in 1968. Subsequent issues were published occasionally between 1969 and 1979.

Yet another competing group emerged in 1967: the 'Association of Korean Archaeology' (Hanguk Gogohak Hyeophoe, Hanja:韓國考古學協會). This group was led by the ancient-historian/archaeologist Kim Gi-ung of Dong-A University.


In 1976, Kim Won-yong and 38 other scholars met at Korea University for a conference and formed what is essentially the modern version of the Korean Archaeological Society. However, the name adopted in the meeting: 'The Society of Korean Archaeological Studies' (Hanguk Gogohak Yeongu Hakhoe) slightly differs from the name used today. During the same meeting, they solemnly dissolved the old 'Association of Korean Archaeology'. Kim Won-yong was installed as the first President of the Society. The regular publication of Hanguk Gogo-Hakbo began from this time. In 1986 the Korean Archaeological Society adopted its present name.

21st Century Korean Archaeological Society[edit]

The Society is hosted and run on a rotating basis by university departments and other institutions for a period of approximately 1-2 years. The current host of the Society is the Department of History at Sungsil University, Seoul. The current President of the Korean Archaeological Society is the Professor Choi Byeong-hyeon of the Department of History, Sungsil University. President Choi was installed in mid-2006. The Past President of the Korean Archaeological Society is the Professor Lee Baek-kyu of Gyeongbuk National University in Daegu.

The society has several thousand individual members in the Republic of Korea who are composed of regular (i.e. professors, instructors, researchers) and student members. University libraries around the world subscribe to the 'Journal of the Korean Archaeological Society' as institutional members. Most of the hundred or so individual members from outside Korea live in Japan. This is emblematic of the good work that Korean and Japanese professional archaeologists have accomplished in establishing friendly and mutually beneficial relations.

The Korean Archaeological Society has actively lobbied Korean governments, central and provincial, on important matters related to the preservation and protection of Korean cultural heritage. They also offer periodic professional workshops for the edification and benefit of archaeologists in Korea.

Hanguk Kogo-Hakbo, 'The Journal of the Korean Archaeological Society'[edit]

The Korean Archaeological Society published its 60th issue of Hanguk Kogo-Hakbo with a 30th anniversary issue in Autumn 2006.

The majority of those who read and contributed articles to the journal until the 1990s were ancient historians and historical archaeologists. As such, the subject matter dealt with in the journal was heavily weighted to the Korean Three Kingdoms Period and culture. In the last 15 years the scope of Korean salvage and academic archaeological excavations has widened considerably, and thus the content of the journal has changed to reflect that. Now the journal has published articles ranging chronologically from the Korean Palaeolithic to the Jeulmun, Mumun, and Protohistoric periods.

See also[edit]


  • Barnes, Gina L. China, Korea, and Japan: the Rise of Civilization in East Asia. London, Thames and Hudson, 1993.
  • Korean Archaeological Society WEBSITE: Summary of Society: Society History [1]
  • Yoon, Se-young. Hanguk Gogohakhoe-eui Tonghab Tansaeng Gwajeong [A Tale of Two Archaeological Societies: How the Korean Archaeological Society Came to be Established]. Hanguk Kogo-Hakbo [Journal of the Korean Archaeological Society] 60:263-269, 2006.

External links[edit]