People have been living on the Korean peninsula for about half a million years. Archeologists have found ancient evidence of stone chopping tools, axes and old pottery in digs in Central Korea . Farming most probably started in the Bronze Age, around 3,500 years ago. Carbonized rice grains and farming tools dating from this period of history have been found at many archeological digs. Geography
Geographically, the Korean Peninsula points southward from the northeastern corner of the Asian continent and is surrounded on three sides by large expanses of water. Although Japan is not far from Korea , the peninsula has been affected far more by the civilizations on the Asian continent than by those in Japan .
Korea 's geography was a major factor in shaping its history; including the manner in which the inhabitants of the peninsula emerged as a common people wanting to belong to a unified nation called Korea .
Folklore & History
Aside from history, the Korean people trace their origins to the founding of the state of Choson, meaning "Land of the Morning Calm." The founding of Choson dates to 2333 B.C. when according to popular folklore, Tan-gun, a legendary figure born of the son of Heaven and a woman from a bear-totem tribe, established the state. Historically, ancient Korea was dominated by clan communities which combined to form small town-states. However, by the first century B.C. the 3 kingdoms, Koguryo, Paekche and Shilla had emerged on the Korean Peninsula (today part of Manchuria ). Ever since the Shilla kingdom unified the peninsula in 676 A.D, Korea had been ruled by a single government and has maintained its political independence and cultural and ethnic identity in spite of frequent foreign invasions. In the late 19th century, Korea became the focus of intense competition among imperialist nations, China , Russia and Japan . In 1910, Japan annexed Korea and instituted colonial rule. National liberation occurred in 1945...