According to legend, the first acknowledged kingdom in Korea emerged in 2333 BC. Tan'gun Wang'gom, the first great ruler of Korea, established his capital at Asadal (now P'yong'yang) and called his kingdom Choson, a name that means "Land of the Morning Calm." The Tan'gun legend not only reflects Korean ideals, but helped develop the pride of a people with a long history and an ancient culture. Through the centuries, Koreans have preserved this legend which became a source of spiritual comfort in times of crisis. Much of what Westerners find so irrational and inconsistent with legends such as this represents the whole foundation of Korean culture and is the key to understanding their history.
This page is concerned with all things related to ancient Korean history, the era running from Korea's mythical dynastic beginnings in 2333 BC to the death of King T'aejong of Silla, who unified the Korean peninsula, in 661 AD. You will also find information here concerning the prehistory of Korea as it has been reconstructed by archaelogical research.