Rafter end tile

  • Korea, Three Kingdoms, Baekje, Sabi period (538–660)
    Excavated from the Mireuksa temple site, Iksan, North Jeolla province
    Earthenware with green glaze
    Diam: 15 cm
    Iksan National Museum, mireuk 6357
    © Iksan National Museum

    This rafter end tile is adorned with seven petals surrounding the central pod along with seven lotus seeds, which is a much less common design than eight-petal versions. In addition to their aesthetic qualities, rafter end tiles would have been nailed to the ends of wooden rafters through the square holes in their centers to protect the timber from decay. Unearthed at the site of a Baekje temple founded during the reign of King Mu (reigned 600–41), it represents the earliest use of green glaze in the production of roof tiles in Korea.