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Big digs make ‘04 a banner year for domestic archaeology: expert (October 02, 2004)

HA NOI — The excavation of the citadel of the Ho Dynasty (1400-07) in the central province of Thanh Hoa is an important archaeological find that, along with work done this year on the Thang Long citadel, makes 2004 a good year for archaeology in Viet Nam, said Dr Tong Trung Tin, deputy director of the Archaeology Institute.

Tin made the remarks at a two-day workshop at the Viet Nam Social Science Institute in Ha Noi that ended on Thursday.

As part of the work, Vietnamese and Japanese archaeologists have unearthed a brick recording the names of 21 communes that produced materials for the citadel, said Tin.

The 19,000sq.m Thang Long Citadel, which archaeologists have been excavating since 2002, will be designated a protected area.

Because of its urban location, though, there remains conflict between construction and preservation activities.

"Some want to excavate quickly to leave time for new building projects, while others want the place to be preserved indefinitely," Tin said.

Dong Khong ceramic kiln, which dates back to the 12th-13th centuries, was found in the northern province of Bac Ninh. This is the first kiln found belonging to the Ly and Tran dynasties.

Other large-scale excavations include Hoang De Citadel in the southern province of Binh Dinh, Son Tay Citadel in the northern Ha Tay Province, Bao An Pagoda in Ha Noi, Lam Kinh relic and Nam Giao in the northern Thanh Hoa Province.

At the seminar, participants also heard a presentation by Dr Nguyen Lan Cuong on restoring the mummy of a monk found in a stupa in Tieu Son Pagoda in Bac Ninh Province’s Tu Son District.

"There are many stupas behind pagodas throughout Viet Nam. I believe there are more mummies of monks in these stupas," Cuong said.

At the seminar, as many as 447 archaeological reports were categorised as Stone Age, Hardware Age, Historical Relics and Cham Pa-Oc Eo.

Experts from Japan, South Korea and Australia found artefacts of the Hoa Binh culture in Cho Cave in the northern province of Hoa Binh. Belonging to the Post New Stone Age and the early Metal Age, the artefacts are crucial objects for studying Viet Nam’s primitive history.

In the northern province of Phu Tho, local archaeologists and colleagues from the Archaeology Institute unearthed 10 tombs dating back 2,300 years. The excavated area was reported to be one of the centres of Van Lang State.

According to Tin, the artefacts found in My Son relic in the central province of Da Nang will play an important role in furthering knowledge about Cham Pa culture. — VNS

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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