Byeonhan confederacy

Byeonhan confederacy

Byeonhan, also known as Byeonjin, was a loose confederacy of chiefdoms that existed from around the beginning of the Common Era to the 4th century in the southern Korean peninsula. Byeonhan was one of the Samhan (or "Three Hans"), along with Mahan and Jinhan.


This early part of the Three Kingdoms period is sometimes called the Proto-Three Kingdoms period.

Byeonhan, like the other Samhan confederacies, appear descended from Jin state of southern Korea. Following the fall of Gojoseon and establishment of the Chinese commanderies in the northern part of the Korean peninsula in 108 BC, refugee migration and cultural transmission continued to transform the region.

Archaeological evidence indicates an increase in military activity and weapons production among the Byeonhan in the 3rd century, especially an increase in iron arrowheads and cuirasses (Barnes 2000). This may be associated with the decline of Byeonhan and the rise of the more centralized Gaya Confederacy, which most Byeonhan states joined. Gaya was subsequently annexed by Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Culture and trade

The Chinese "Records of Three Kingdoms" state that the language and culture of Byeonhan was essentially the same as Jinhan, and archaeological artifacts show little difference. Byeonhan may have simply referred to the chiefdoms in the south and west of the Nakdong River valley which were not formal members of the Jinhan confederacy.

According to the 3rd century Chinese chronicle "Wei Zhi", Byeonhan was known for the production of iron; it exported iron to the Chinese commanderies to the north, Yamato Japan and the rest of the Korean peninsula. It was also a center of stoneware manufacture.

Member statelets

According to the "Records of Three Kingdoms", Byeonhan consisted of 12 statelets:

* Mirimidong ( _ko. 미리미동국/彌離彌凍國)
* Jeopdo ( _ko. 접도국/接塗國)
* Gojamidong ( _ko. 고자미동국/古資彌凍國), in modern-day Goseong County
* Gosunsi ( _ko. 고순시국/古淳是國)
* Ballo ( _ko. 반로국/半路國)
* Nangno ( _ko. 낙노국/樂奴國)
* Gunmi ( _ko. 군미국/軍彌國)
* Mioyama ( _ko. 미오야마국/彌烏邪馬國), Goryeong County
* Gamno ( _ko. 감로국/甘路國)
* Guya ( _ko. 구야국/狗邪國), Gimhae
* Jujoma ( _ko. 주조마국/走漕馬國)
* Anya ( _ko. 안야국/安邪國), Haman County
* Dongno ( _ko. 독로국/瀆盧國), Dongnae Ward of Busan

ee also

*List of Korea-related topics


*Barnes, G.L. (2000). Archeological armor in Korea and Japan: Styles, technology and social setting. "Journal of East Asian Archeology 2" (3–4), 61–96. (Electronic Version).

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.