Bone Ornaments with Flower and Bird Designs

unknownUnified Silla(668~935)

Gyeongju National Museum

Gyeongju National Museum
Gyeongju-si, South Korea

These ornaments, decorated with flower and bird designs, are made from animal bones, and they were found near the drainage facilities of Wolji. Each ornament was made by polishing one side of a long animal bone, boring holes a set distance from one another, and then engraving the designs between the holes in alternating order. Two birds were engraved as a pair, as if preparing to fly off into the sky together. Stone pieces with similar bird designs are housed in Shosoin, Japan, providing a vital clue to the cultural exchange which took place between Unified Silla and Japan. The flower design has petals, stems, and leaves spread on two sides. The realistically portrayed bird and flower designs offer a glimpse into the extravagant lifestyle of the palace. Although the exact purpose of these ornaments remains unknown, some experts believe that they were used to decorate the edge of standing screens or tables.


  • Title: Bone Ornaments with Flower and Bird Designs
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Unified Silla(668~935)
  • Location: Wolji, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Korea
  • Type: ornament
  • Rights: Gyeongju National Museum
  • Medium: L 21.8cm

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