Gaya coexisted with the Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje until 562 A.D., and formed political and cultural sphere of influences on the southern region of the Korean Peninsula. The heritage left by the Gaya people included shell mound, earthen ramparts, tumuli, earthenware kiln, and iron materials, but they disappeared or changed throughout the following generations. Gaya Tumuli is what is mostly left among heritages of Gaya. There are around 780 tumuli within the Gaya region, and there are hundreds and thousands of tumuli that cover up the tumuli areas. The construction of Gaya Tumuli is an important project of the polities, and the tumuli were perceived as a special space for the Gaya people.
Records about Gaya can be found in the record of Byeonjinjo from ‘Samgukji (History of Three Kingdoms)’, ‘Samgukyusa (The Heritage of Three States)’ and ‘Samguksagi (The Chronicles of Three States)’ composed in the Goryeo Period. The contents can also be found in the ‘Nihon Shoki (Japanese Chronicles)’. However, it is difficult to understand the establishment of Gaya, development, and the process of decline through these records. Since written record of Gaya are scant, archaeological surveys on Gaya Tumuli have revealed plentiful data for reconstructing culture and history of Gaya. Gaya Tumuli and the artifacts found within the tumuli have special values to the history of mankind as proof to understand the unique and universal culture of Gaya.