Amsa Prehistoric Site
Amsa Prehistoric Site (암사선사주거지; map) is a preserved Neolithic excavation site and museum along the Han River in Seoul’s eastern Gangdong District (강동구; map).
In 1925, a great flood hit the Han River and washed away thousands of years of topsoil, revealing an ancient village in the Amsa Neighborhood (암사동; map).
Locals intended to explore the site. However, Japanese Occupation and the Korean War (1950~1953) sapped the country’s resources.
After South Korea stabilized in the 70s, archeologists picked up their brushes and began exploring the site in earnest. They discovered three eras of Korean civilization:
- On top, jars, tombs, and axes from the Kingdom of Baekje (백제; 18 BCE ~ 660 CE).
- One layer below, earthenware and tools from the Bronze Age (3300 ~ 1200 BCE).
- On bottom, a 6,000-year-old village from the Neolithic Period or New Stone Age.
After scientists finished extracting and preserving artifacts, the city turned the Amsa Prehistoric Site into a learning center and tourist attraction.
A full-scale model of the Neolithic village occupies most of the site’s grounds. It recreates the circular design of the ancient settlement. Thatched huts radiate from a central, communal furnace which its residents used to cook and create pottery.
A museum stands next to the village. Engineers built it around the preserved shallow pits where the real Neolithic huts once stood. The museum also exhibits the prehistoric pottery, tools, and arrowheads at the Amsa Prehistoric Site.