Analyzing cultural heritage for its conservation is as important as appreciating its beauty.
The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage has recently opened its Culture Heritage Analysis Information Center to research the daily lives of ancient people and unlock the secrets of history .
"Before the center opened, all the data and samples were scattered at places that only the experts in charge would know. But now with all the research assembled in one center, we can store the samples and collect the data systematically.
Skeletons found at excavation sites are examined here. Through collagen and protein from bone powder, experts can find out what the deceased ate at that time, and through their DNA, the age, gender and height can be figured out.
Researchers also study inorganic substances to see where cultural assets' materials are from, and use a type of infrared light to look thoroughly into Buddhist paintings.
"One of the most valuable pieces of equipment that the center will have is the 'Accelerator Mass Spectroscopy' machine.
Only the tools for pre-treatment are ready now, but when the AMS arrives this August, it will enable carbon dating of cultural heritage items."
"Though determining the dating of the cultural heritage is the most basic work, we have been asking other companies or organizations abroad to do that part. With the AMS, now we can independently figure out the radiocarbon dating of assets such as bones, paper and textiles."
Through this newly built center, the experts are hoping that systematically managing the data of cultural heritage analysis through a central platform will give us new insights about Korea's cultural assets.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News, Daejeon.