Oldest Hangeul metal movable types excavated in Seoul
What is most noteworthy is that these types followed the Dongguk Jeongun notation. “The Dongguk Jeongun (Standard Rhymes of the Eastern States) is a Korean dictionary of rhymes which sets out a standard practice for pronouncing Chinese characters in Korean. It was compiled between 1446 and 1448 under the instructions of King Sejong the Great, and serves as a companion volume to Hunminjeongeum.” This notation was temporarily used in the early period of Hangeul.
In addition, about 10 logotypes of typical Hangeul characters such as ㅱ, ㅸ, ㆆ, and ㆅ, which were used in between Chinese characters in the early Hangeul period, have been excavated for the first time. These Hangeul metal movable types are the oldest movable types ever discovered so far.
Other relics such as Jujeon (an hour hand) from Mulsigye (a water clock), Ilseongjeongsiui (an astronomical clock), Chongtongs (a canon barrel), and Dongjong (a copper bell) of the early Joseon Dynasty, were found along with the metal types.
Lee Jaejeong, curator at the National Museum of Korea said, “It seems that all the relics were buried together from 1588 and have not been used again, and therefore all the relics unearthed are very important resources in understanding the typography and technological advancement in the early Joseon dynasty.”
64th Edition of Weeklymonday (August 2, 2021)
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