The Unified Silla Period (676-935 CE) began when Silla occupied the region stretching from the Daedonggang south to Wonsan Bay, conquering Baekje and Goguryeo to form a unified nation-state. The capital city of Gyeongju took the form of a castle town that organized and governed all the neighboring settlements.

Gyeongju grew into an international city through active exchange with Southwest Asia, the Tang Dynasty of China, and Japan, and the advanced culture of the capital city gradually diffused into the local areas.

During the Unified Silla Period, Buddhism brought about major changes in society and culture. Cremation became the preferred funerary practice, with burial urns replacing tombs. Major Buddhist architecture, such as Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto were built. By integrating the cultures of Goguryeo and Baekje, Unified Silla formed the basis for a national culture.