Ancient Korean Art and Central Asia – Non-Buddhist Art before 10th century
While there an overlapping of cultures of East and West via the Silk Routes usually occurred throughout history, the peninsula of Korea, however, restricted itself to mostly ‘absorbing’ cultural and artistic influences from far and wide and few traces of Korean culture have been found in Central Asia. Evidence of this cultural and material appropriation can be found in several tumuli, including buckled belts with a Scythian zoomorphic influence, Roman and Germanic glassware, central-Asian inspired metalwork, Chinese-inspired painting techniques. Notably, motifs, patterns and designs from Iran exerted a particular influence on Korean crafts. Perhaps the most remarkable cross-fertilization of symbols was the use of the Lion’s head, representing Hercules, for the heads of Buddhist guardian statues.