Polished Stone Dagger

Accession Number

Polished Stone Dagger


Artist Nationality
Korean (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
9th century BCE - 8th century BCE

Medium & Support

15 3/8 x 3 3/16 x 13/16 in. (39 x 8 x 2 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase from the collection of Max Loehr

Subject matter
Groundstone daggers were frequently excavated from burials of the Mumun Pottery Period. Archaeologists consider these daggers as prestige or ritual objects rather than utilitarian swords due to their brittle nature, presence in mortuary contexts, and additional labor and skill required in their production. Groundstone daggers may have been copies of Chinese bronze daggers.

Physical Description
This stone dagger has a handle that is divided into two parts, separated from each other by a thinner band. The upper tier is smaller in length than the lower tier, which flares outward as it approaches the end. The tip of blade is broken off. In profile, the blade thickens in the center.

Carved from stone, this dagger with a two-tier handle is missing only its tip. The cross section of the blade is rhomboid, while that of the handle is shaped like a convex lens. The dagger is of the later two-tier-handled type (idanbyeongsik), meaning that it probably dates from the end of the early Bronze Age or the beginning of the middle Bronze Age. Max Loehr (1903- 1988) was a German art historian specializing in East Asian art who taught at the University of Michigan from 1951 to 1960 as a professor.
[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2017) p.32]

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Arms and Armor

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
ceremonial swords
daggers (weapons)
grave goods
stone (worked rock)

1 Related Resource

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted