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1 The Prehistoric Age The Paleolithic Age As a nation, Korea has a long history. The archeological finds suggest that, at somepointinthemistypast,tinybandsof tribesmeninhabitingthelandsalong the Altai Mountains of Central Asia began making their way eastward in the eternal quest for the “land of life” (the East), moving into Manchuria and the Korean peninsula. The habitation of early men in the Korean peninsula started as early as 700,000 years ago. Some North Koreans claim that the peninsula may have been inhabited for a million years. Until now Paleolithic remains, dating about 700,000 to 8,000 years ago, have been excavated in various parts of the Korean peninsula, from the Tumen River basin to the north to Cheju-do Island to the south. The most important Paleolithic sites, amounting to more than a hundred, are mostly found at the sides of big rivers. Thebest-knownsitesof theEarlyPaleolithicAge,whichendedapproximately 100,000 years ago, include those at Sangwŏn county (Kŏmŭnmoru cave and Yonggok-ni) in the Taedong River basin, at Yŏnch’ŏn county (Chŏn’gok-ni) in the Hant’an River basin, at Chech’ŏn city (Chŏmmal cave of P’ojŏn-ni) and Tanyang city (Kŭmgul cave) in the South Han River basin, and at P’aju county (Chuwŏl-ri and Kawŏl-ri) in the Imjin River basin. The sites of the Mid1 DAWN OF THE KOREAN NATION 2 A History of Korea dle Paleolithic Age, dating about 100,000 to 40,000 years ago, include those at Unggi county (Kulp’o-ri) in the Tumen River basin, at Sangwŏn county (Yonggok-ni) and the Yŏkp’o area of Pyongyang in the Taedong River basin, at Tŏkch’ŏn county (Sŭngni-san) in the Ch’ŏngch’ŏn River basin, at Yanggu county (Sangmuryŏng-ni) in the North Han River basin, at Yŏnch’ŏn county (Namgye-ri), Yangp’yŏng county (Pyŏngsan-ni), Chech’ŏn city (Myŏngo-ri), andTanyangcity(Suyanggaecave)intheSouthHanRiverbasin,andonChejudo (Pile-mot pond). The sites of the Late Paleolithic Age, dating about 40,000 to 8,000 years ago, include those at Unggi county (Kulp’o-ri [the upper layer] and Pup’o-ri), Pyongyang (Mandal-ri) in the Taedong River basin, Kongju city (Sŏkchang-ni) and Ch’ŏngwŏn county (Turubong cave) in the Kŭm River basin , Hwasun county (Taejŏn-ni), Koksŏng county (Chewŏl-ri), and Sunch’ŏn city (Chungnae-ri) in the Sŏmjin River basin. Given the wide distribution of these sites, it is presumed that Paleolithic men lived in virtually every part of the Korean peninsula. At the remains mentioned above, Paleolithic stone tools such as choppers, scrappers, hand axes, and cleavers have been unearthed. Choppers and scrappers were mainly used to take animal meat off the bones. Hand axes and cleavers were later produced for many purposes. At Sangwŏn county and Yonggokni , fossilized human bones were uncovered. Although North Koreans argue that these bones may date back to 500,000 to 1,000,000 years ago, interpretations have varied on the estimated dating. In the Paleolithic Age the implements needed for hunting were fashioned by chipping stone. At first a lump of rock, flint stone in particular, was struck until a usable tool with sharp edges or points was produced. Later a number of pieces that had been broken off were also given additional edge or sharpness bychippingorflakingandthenwereutilizedasimplements.Thisimprovement in tool-making methods allowed access to a wide range and amount of food sources, and was essential to the invention of bows and spear throwers. Bone implements made of animal bones and horns were also used for fishing. Paleolithic men at first lived in caves, and later they began to build dugouts on level ground. Instances of the former are found at the Kŏmŭnmoru cave (Sangwŏn county) and at the Chŏmmal cave (P’ojŏn-ni, Chech’ŏn city), and thelatterisillustratedbyadwellingsiteatSŏkchang-ni.Ahearth,togetherwith animalfiguresof abear,adog,andatortoise,radiocarbon-datedto20,000years old,hasbeenunearthedatSŏkchang-ni.Theexistenceof ahearthdemonstrates that fire was used both for heating and for cooking food. Dawn of the Korean Nation 3 These Paleolithic men were grouped together in small-scale societies such as bands and gained their subsistence from hunting wild animals as well as gathering fruit, berries, and edible plant roots. They also gathered firewood and materials for their tools, clothes, and shelters. The invention of harpoons allowed fish to become part of human diets...


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