The Gwangju National Museum is a research institution that carries out ceaseless collection of data and materials for research and analysis. Since its opening in 1978, it has undertaken a wide range of academic surveys, the results of which have been published in some 70 books. Based on these activities, the museum has played a major role in identifying the unique culture that developed in the Jeollanam-do region.
Using the indicators regarding the archeological sites in the southwest coast of Korea that can traced back to the Neolithic Period, the Yeosu Songdo Shell Mound, Ando Shell Mound and Sinan Gageodo Shell Mound have been excavated for research in an effort to uncover the mysteries of the Neolithic culture. Additional excavation surveys have been carried out in Wolnae-ri in Yeosu, Seguji in Dolsan, Undae-ri in Goheung, the dolmen site in Dongchon-ri in Boseong, and the bronze ware site in Daegok-ri in Hwasun. As such, research has been continually performed on the dolmen sites in Korea, which have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Above all, the Gwangju Sinchang-dong Archeological Site, which has been surveyed by the Gwangju National Museum annually, has attracted attention from scholars at home and abroad as well as general citizens.
Also, the jar-coffin tomb in Naedong-ri in Yeongam, Tomb No. 4 in Masu-ri, Yeongam as well as Haenam Wolsong-ri Ancient Tomb, Gwangju Myeonghwa-dong Ancient Tomb, Hampyeong Yedeok-ri Sindeok Ancient Tomb, Haenam Yongun Ancient Tomb, Haenam Manuichong Tombs, and Haenam Yongdu-ri Ancient Tomb are being surveyed, with the aim of analyzing the ancient culture that developed near the Yeongsangang River.
As part of the branding project of the Gwangju National Museum, archeological field surveys were performed at the kiln sites in the Jeonnam area, along with the research on the Gangjin Samheung-ri Celadon Kiln, Gwangju Chunghyo-dong Buncheong Ware Kiln Site and Goheung Undae-ri Buncheong Ware Kiln Site, in order to provide raw data for research on pottery culture. Furthermore, the Gwangju National Museum is endeavoring to fulfill its role as Korea’s first museum specializing in pottery and the base for the Silk Road of Asian Pottery Culture by using the results of more than one hundred academic surveys on Buddhist sites and folklore.