Śarīra Reliquary of the Nine-Story Wooden Pagoda at Hwangnyongsa Temple

unknownSilla 7th century

Gyeongju National Museum

Gyeongju National Museum
Gyeongju-si, South Korea

A theft in 1966 damaged the śarīra reliquary enclosed in the space created for the reliquary in the heart stone of the pagoda. By a stroke of luck, the thieves were taken into custody, and various artifacts, such as gold and silver circular containers as well as an octagonal bronze śarīra reliquary, were recovered. The gold and silver containers were manufactured with metal that was pounded into thin sheets and it appears that the small gold container was placed inside the larger silver one, according to the rules of storing śarīra reliquaries. The recovered artifacts were found mixed with artifacts unearthed from other pagodas, and as such, it is difficult to accurately distinguish them. However, the Chalju bongi account that states that the śarīra was placed inside a glass or precious stone reliquary, which in turn was placed inside raised gold and silver settings at the time of the wooden pagoda construction, is helpful.


  • Title: Śarīra Reliquary of the Nine-Story Wooden Pagoda at Hwangnyongsa Temple
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Silla 7th century
  • Location: Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Korea
  • Type: Buddhist sculpture
  • Rights: Gyeongju National Museum
  • Medium: H 5.6(rear center)

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