Anak Tomb №3

Anak Tomb №3 is a chamber tomb of Goguryeo located in Anak, South Hwanghae, North Korea. It is known for mural paintings and an epitaph. It is part of the Complex of Goguryeo Tombs.

It was discovered in 1949 with valuable treasures having been stolen, but murals were kept in good condition.

Epitaph and its interpretation

The Anak Tomb №3 is one of few Goguryeo tombs that have epitaphs so that their dates can be determined. Its seven-lined epitaph contains the date 357, the personal name Dong Shou, his title, his birthplace and his age at death. Accordingly, some scholars generally regard this site as the tomb of Dong Shou. The inscription of Dong Shou relates that he was a general from the Xianbei state of Former Yan in Liaodong, Manchuria, who fled to Goguryeo in 336 and was given a position in the former territory of the Lelang commandery. While K. H. J. Gardiner and Wollyong Kim believe this to be a Chinese tomb of excellent quality, North and other South Korean scholars believe that Dong Shou was an emigre official. Moreover, the quality of these paintings and the size of the tomb indicate that it is a royal tomb of Koguryo - a theory advocated recently by Hwi-joon Ahn and Youngsook Pak. Although North Korean scholars claim that it is the mausoleum of King Micheon or King Gogugwon, such theories are not considered seriously outside North Korea.

The epitaph reflects a complex situation in which Tong Shou, and Goguryeo, were put. He claimed various titles including "Minister of Lelang" and "Governor of Changli, Xuantu and Daifang." It is not clear whether these titles were given by the Eastern Jin or just self-designation. Scholars associate one of his title "Minister of Lelang" with the title "Duke of Lelang", which was bestowed on King Gogugwon by Murong Jun of the Former Yan in 354.

It is very interesting that the mural found in Anak Tomb №3 is identical with the mural found in Yuan Tai Ji Tomb.

North Korea