National Intangible Cultural Property No. 120 Seokjang +
||Intangible Cultural Property / Traditional Technology / Craft
Seokjang, the skills of stone masonry and master masons, were indispensable to the construction of Buddhist temples and palaces. Masons participated in the projects by crafting Buddhist statues, pagodas, and bridges from stone. The numerous stone artifacts handed down from the Three Kingdoms Period (1st century BCE ~ 7th century CE) attest to the advanced standard of stone masonry accomplished by ancient Koreans. Granite was the most popular material among Korean masons throughout history since it is one of the most widely distributed stones in the country; they also used agalmatolite, bluestone, and marble. Working with simple tools such as hammers and chisels, the stone masons breathed life into their solid inanimate material, thereby cultivating a refined art form. With the introduction of machine carving, however, traditional stone craftsmanship has gradually disappeared in modern times. The time-honored skills of ancient Korean stone masons have been designated as important intangible cultural heritage so that they can be effectively preserved and transmitted to future generations.