In this thesis, I examine the layout and ritual practices of Korean mountain Buddhist temple complexes (MBTCs) in order to understand how and why mountain Buddhist temple complexes (MBTC) in Korea are distinct from other Buddhist temple complexes outside of Korea. I analyze nine MBTCs, focusing on five of them. The study of these MBTCs also includes the distribution and location of all the temple complexes and their relationship with pilgrimage practices. Additionally, I do an in-depth analysis of two MBTCs. The analysis of these temple complexes is done through a landscape perspective and a ritual perspective. I use Julia Shaw’s (2000) work on Indic Buddhism through the landscape perspective in order to understand how landscape archaeology can be applied to Buddhist temple complexes, and then, I apply this approach to my analysis of Korean MBTCs. Furthermore, I examine elevation profiles of MBTCs to analyze the layout of the temple complexes and pilgrimage practices. Analysis of the MBTCs presents common physical plans, differences between the MBTCs, and the importance of pilgrimage practices.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia

Second Advisor

Graham, Mark


Archaeology; Religious Studies


Archaeological Anthropology | Asian Art and Architecture | Asian Studies | Buddhist Studies | Geographic Information Sciences | Historic Preservation and Conservation | History of Religions of Eastern Origins | Korean Studies | Other Geography | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Other Religion

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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