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The Urban Development of the City of Kaesong from the Koryŏ Period to 20th Century DPR Korea

Wednesday 28 November 2018
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden

Elisabeth Chabanol (EFEO)

In this talk, dr. Elisabeth Chabanol (EFEO) will present the latest findings of the Archaeological Mission in Kaesong, which she has been directing since 2011 in collaboration with North Korean archaeologists.

Kaesong sits on the northern side of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas. Former capital of the Koryŏ state (918-1392), the city is now also known for the inter-Korean Special Economic Zone that was established in 2004. It was the implantation of the Industrial Complex, along with the rapid development of Kaesong city that provided the urgency to document the city walls and its remains, known largely through written sources, but never properly studied.

Following a prospective mission in October 2010, and with the support of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Kaesong Archaeological Mission was established in collaboration with the North Korean Authority for the Protection of Cultural Heritage with the aim of researching and documenting the walls of the city of Kaesong, its structures and successive boundaries. The aim of the mission is to contribute to the historical and material knowledge of this former capital of the Koryŏ state, and to provide a scientific basis for the development of an operational heritage management strategy.  

Dr. Élisabeth Chabanol (Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite) is associate professor at the French School of Asian Studies (École française d’Extrême-Orient, EFEO) specialized in Korean art history, archeology and heritage. She is the head of the Seoul branch of the EFEO and director of the “Archaeological Mission in Kaesong” (French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs). She is a leading member of the ANR funded City, Architecture and Urbanism in North Korea (ANR-17-CE27-0012) project.

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