- It also represents identity of Gaya. It is an exceptional testimony to the disappeared Gaya Confederacy.
The emergence and extinction of core tumuli of the Gaya polities symbolize the formation and demise of Gaya’s political system. Gaya Tumuli are an excellent representation of the changes of Gaya’s social structure through the adoption of a new types of tombs, hierarchy, and the changes of tumuli construction rules. The relics of the Gaya Tumuli were buried for afterlife but it reflects the state of living of Gaya people at the time as well. Especially, the relics excavated from the tombs of ruling class and the structural changes of the burial type show the status of the buried people as well as trading and lifestyle of the time.
The Gaya Tumuli are large-scale tumuli created along the southeastern coastal regions and inlands of the Korean peninsula for 600 years from the later period BC until the collapse of Daegaya in 562. These heritage sites are located in the centers of each Gaya polities that maintained autonomous power while growing and developing with surrounding kingdoms during the same period. The history of growth, development, and fall of Gaya society lie in the background of the appearance, spread, and extinction of the Gaya Tumuli, and a series of burial acts and various construction techniques examined in Gaya Tumuli have shown the life of Gaya people at that time.
Gaya Tumuli is the great evidence showing the process of centralization of power in the ancient East Asian society. Gaya, which maintained an independent system of different polities for 600 years without forming a unified states while sharing similar culture, is a form of state rarely found within Northeast Asia. Thus, it has an outstanding universal value as exceptional historical testimony showing the diversity of the development of an ancient state.