It is impossible to get on with this job without the patriotic will to preserve and glorify the time-honoured history of the nation.
This is said by Han Kum Sik, who is a Merited Scientist, PhD, associate professor and chief of the human evolution and development research room under the History Faculty of Kim Il Sung University.
For over three decades, he has made a contribution to unearthing and proving many historical relics, the precious cultural treasure of the country, including the Tongamdong site, Chongphadae site, Hyangmongni cave relics and Rimgyongdong cave relics
They have been registered on the national list of treasures and relics for conservation.
It is his creed to unearth more historical remains and relics to enrich the treasure house of national cultural heritage.
As he specialized in life science, the human evolution and development research was an unfamiliar discipline. But with his research team he unearthed valuable sites and relics, ranging from the Tongamdong site from the first half of the Paleolithic era to the Juhyondong site from the Neolithic era, discovering many fossils of Paleolithic men including Hwadae Man and Neolithic men such as Ryonggok Man and Kumphyong Man. In the course of this, more than 750 natural caves have been investigated.
What he remembers most was the study to find the relics of the Paleolithic era in the Kangdong area where the Mausoleum of King Tangun, the founding father of the Korean nation, is situated. The research had begun tens of years ago. However, as it was the one on historical relics of the primitive ages when there were no letters, it required more delicate and versatile knowledge, strong will and perseverance than in other excavations. The research team carried on their work without yielding to repeated failures and difficulties.
At last, they discovered human fossils from the latter half of the Paleolithic era in the natural cave in Rimgyong Workers’ District, Kangdong County. In addition, they conducted anthropological, archaeological, paleontological and natural and environmental studies. And, in close contact with relevant units, they also carried on electron paramagnetic resonance measurement, confirming that the relics date back to 23 000±3 000 years ago, and the human fossils (teeth and skull bones) were those of a woman in her thirties in the latter half of the Paleolithic age.
In May last year, the DPRK Archaeology Society commented that the discovery of Kangdong Woman in the area is of great historical importance in clarifying that the area is one of those where people had lived consecutively since the dawn of human civilization and created time-honoured history and culture and also one where the historical roots of the Korean nation had struck.
Han recalled as follows.
Though our legs were swollen due to digging out earth for several hours a day in a dangerous natural cave, no one left the excavation site. Those who live in Korea must know about their country and if so, in a correct way. At that time, it was our decision to continue the job to the last even if it would mean making a hole running through the earth.
He has made public many valuable research papers.
Dozens of his papers were highly appreciated as they rendered service to the development of the national cultural heritage of the country and were awarded certificates of introduction and registration of sci-tech hits.
Meanwhile, he has trained several holders of academic titles.
He has presented several papers, including “The first Orthoptera (Insecta) from the Lower Cretaceous of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2020)”, “Preliminary investigation of Late Pleistocene fauna from Ryonggok Cave No.1, Sangwon County, North Hwanghae Province, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2021)”, to the international peer-reviewed journals.
Besides, he conducted talks and joint research with foreign specialists to make a contribution to glorifying the time-honoured history of his nation.