After the fall of Gojoseon (108 BCE), the Korean Peninsula was divided among a number of local dominions. Buyeo (2 BCE – 494 CE) and Goguryeo (37 BCE – 668 CE) ruled the northeastern area near China, with Okjeo and Dongye also occupying northern areas, while the central part of the peninsula was controlled by Samhan, which comprised the confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan.

The levels of social development of these early civilizations varied according to their national power and location. Over time, Buyeo and Goguryeo grew into states by asserting their capabilities in both culture and warfare.

As a result of various conflicts, Goguryeo took control of Okjeo and Dongye, while Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan integrated into Baekje (18 BCE – 660 CE), Silla (57 BCE – 676 CE), and Gaya (42-562 CE).