Petroglyph site in Vietnam receives recognition

A 1,000-year-old petroglyph site in Northern Vietnam has been recognised as a national relic, the second such site to be done so.

VietNamNetBridge, 14 April 2008

Second ancient stone ground recognised as national relic
Vietnam Net Bridge, 14 April 2008

Despite my current research in rock art, I know very little about the rock art of Vietnam, which seems to be concentrated to the north. The Nam Dan petroglyphs are said to have been inscribed at least 1,000 years ago using iron tools.

Nam Dan ancient stone ground is located in a vast valley, surrounded by high mountains. The local people call this area Na Lai (field with scripts) because some blocks of stone along Nam Khoong have patterns and scripts. In 2004, the Vietnam Archaeology Institute and Ha Giang Museum cooperated to conduct a survey in Xin Man and unveiled the ancient stone ground there.

Archaeologists have temporarily divided patterns on stone blocks there into seven groups: geometrical (circle, square, rectangle), square and circle-shaped patterns, parallel lines, symbols of genitalia, human feet, human figures, and undetermined patterns.

The other famous rock art site in Vietnam is in Sapa, which also contains petroglyphs.

Related Books:
Handbook of Rock Art Research

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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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