Vietnamese archaeologists restore Dong Son drum

Archaeologists have managed to patch the remains and identify a Dong Son drum (previously mentioned in this site here). The drum belongs to an associated set of artefacts dating some 3,000 years old. The story mentions that the drum has a steel handle and I think this is highly unlikely to be an accurate description of the drum.

27 July 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – Archaeologists have managed to patch the remains and identify a Dong Son drum (previously mentioned in this site here). The drum belongs to an associated set of artefacts dating some 3,000 years old. The story mentions that the drum has a steel handle and I think this is highly unlikely to be an accurate description of the drum.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 27 Jul 2007

Archeologists restore ancient bronze drum

Archeologists have patched up and identified ancient bronze drum pieces recently discovered in Krong Pach district in Dak Lak province as part of a Heger Classification’s Type 1 drum.

The drum is about 50.5 cm high and 63 cm across with designs engraved all over the body part. The flat-shaped handle is made of steel of 6 cm in width and 8.5 cm in length.

In the area where the drum was unearthed, archeologists also found several iron and bronze tools as well as ancient ceramic pieces. According to experts, the area might have been an ancient burial ground where dead bodies were buried in bronze drums.

Similar tombs have been discovered in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak. Besides the bronze drum, many artifacts dating back to 3,000 years ago have also been found in Krong Pack district. Archeologists suggest that there is a link between the province and the ancient Dong Son culture.


More information about Dong Son drums can be found in:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham
Dong Son Drums in Viet Nam
– Bronze Dong Son Drums by Ha Thuc Can

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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