In the section dedicated to the prehistoric culture of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do, visitors can examine relics dating back to the late Paleolithic era, such as a hand axe excavated from Maae-ri in Andong and microliths discovered in Wolseong-dong, Daegu. Displays also include artifacts from the Bronze Age, such as burnished red pottery (hongdo; 홍도), polished stone daggers, and bronze daggers.
The next section focuses on the period when ancient kingdoms were established in the area of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do, known as the Proto-Three Kingdoms period. The displays feature various items recovered from wooden-coffin tombs, Including the gray wajil pottery (Wajil pottery has a light gray color as it was baked in a closed kiln), metalware, jewelry, and accessories.
The third section features regional artifacts dating to the Three Kingdoms period, including gilded crowns, gold earrings, and pommeled swords found inside tombs in Bisan-dong, Daegu; Imdang-dong, Gyeongsan; and Tap-ri, Uiseong-gun. Displays also include pottery and gold earrings from the Gaya Confederacy.
This section features a variety of prehistoric artifacts, such as hand axes found in Maae-ri, Andong, which are the earliest such artifacts ever discovered in Gyeongsangbuk-do. Other items include stone farming tools and comb-pattern pottery of the Neolithic period.
On the Korean peninsula, the Paleolithic period started about 700,000 years ago. In Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do, the earliest known site associated with the Paleolithic period is in Sinsang-ri, Sangju, and it dates back about 100,000 years, to the mid-Paleolithic period. The same site also includes layers from about 25,000 years ago, representing the late Paleolithic period. Layers from the late Paleolithic period were also found in Wolseong-dong, Daegu.
During the Paleolithic period, people used chipped stone tools and fire. For food, they hunted animals and collected edible plants, and they lived in caves or beneath large rocks.
- Hand axes unearthed
- Comb-pattern pottery
This section displays representative objects from the Paleolithic period, including burnished red pottery, stone farming tools, weapons, and bronze daggers. In particular, the daggers were important status symbols of the ruling class and crucial indicators of social change.
The Korean Bronze Age began sometime between the fifteenth and tenth century BCE and lasted until about the fourth century BCE. People of this period began to form settlements and villages, often on slopes near alluvial plains. They also cultivated rice and raised cattle.
To protect themselves from looting and attacks from outsiders, Bronze Age people dug deep trenches and erected fences around their villages. With the establishment of distinct settlements, class differentiation emerged, with the upper class largely responsible for the organization and defense of the village. Around the fifth century BCE, social rulers used bronze objects to symbolize their power and authority.
The representative burial types of the time were dolmens, which were often placed in the center of a wide sanctuary marked by stone slabs. It was also customary to erect tall stones at the entrances to villages and sanctuaries.
- Plain coarse pottery
- Korean-type Bronze Dagger
- Tubular Jade·Green Jade
This section displays a number of objects from the period when the first kingdoms were established in the area, including various examples of pottery styles that were characteristic to the region, such as mounted pottery, jars with horn-shaped handles, and urns. All of the pottery artifacts were excavated from wooden coffin tombs at primary sites of the Proto-Three Kingdoms period, located in Paldal-dong, Daegu and Sindae-ri, Gyeongsan. Other displayed items, including a tiger-shaped buckle, jade accessories, and various iron objects (including weapons and farming tools), illustrate how small tribes in the region developed into ancient kingdoms.
In the Korean peninsula, ironware was first introduced around the third century BCE, and had spread throughout the land by the second century BCE. This period is known as the Early Iron Age, as bronzewares were also still in wide use.
For about 300 years, starting around the turn of the first century CE, various kingdoms emerged in the Korean peninsula and became highly influential in Northeast Asia. During this period, many household goods were made from iron, while dishes made from gray clay were fired in long tunnel-type kilns. Historical records show that the kingdoms of the Korean peninsula engaged in international trade with their neighboring states, including China and Japan. In particular, ironware produced in the South was essential for trade. Goguryeo gradually developed into a kingdom, while the three societies of Samhan (Jinhan, Mahan, Byeonhan) were eventually replaced by Baekje, Silla, and Gaya, respectively.
- Jar with horn-shaped handles
- Tiger-Shaped Buckle
This section features numerous artifacts from the kingdoms of Silla and Gaya. The Silla relics include horse equipment, weapons, farming tools, pottery, a gilt-bronze crown, gold earrings, and pommeled swords, excavated from tombs in Bisan-dong, Daegu; Imdang-dong, Gyeongsan; and Tap-ri, Uiseong. The Gaya artifacts include pottery and gold rings recovered from tombs.
By the fourth century, Goguryeo had become a leading power in Northeast Asia. Meanwhile, Baekje engaged in extensive foreign trade with Japan and feudal states in southern China, helping to bring about great changes in the southeastern areas of the Korean peninsula.
The Silla Kingdom originated when the Saro confederacy of Jinhan integrated the areas east and north of the Nakdong River. The areas south and west of the river were controlled by the Guya kingdom of Byeonhan, which used its river ports for international trade and became one of the leading states of the Gaya Confederacy. Silla maintained friendly relations with Goguryeo and used it as a channel for exchanges with states in northern China, while Gaya became part of the international trade networks established by Baekje.
In 400 CE, Silla and Gaya went to war, with Goguryeo and Japan also taking part. The war was won by the allied forces of Silla and Goguryeo, and as a result, the Gaya Confederacy was effectively replaced by Daegaya. In 562, Silla occupied Daegaya and extended its territory northward, including areas along the Han River. After many battles, Silla finally conquered both Baekje and Goguryeo, thereby unifying the three kingdoms of the Korean peninsula.
- Saddle Bridge
- Sword with Ring Pommel
- Gilt-Bronze Crown
- Development of Silla pottery