General's tomb yields surprising finds

Vietnamese archaeologists reveal the results from an excavation of a Nguyen Dynasty general’s tomb.

Tay Son Dynasty coin, Viet Nam News 20111001

Tay Son dynasty coin unearthed
Viet Nam News, 01 October 2011

The Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology has announced new discoveries unearthed during the recent excavation of Thoai Ngoc Hau and his wives’ tombs, including a coin dating back to the Tay Son dynasty (1778-1802).

Thoai Ngoc Hau (1761-1829), a famous general, helped Nguyen Anh found the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945). He and his wives were buried in the southern province of An Giang. The excavation of their tombs was carried out on September 19 by local experts. They discovered a number of artefacts buried near the tombs of Chau Thi Te and Truong Thi Met, his first and second wives.

The name on the coin was Minh Duc Thong Bao, minted under the reign of Nguyen Nhac (1788-1793). The discovery in the tomb of the high ranking mandarin’s wife has been seen as a possible breakthrough by archaeologists.

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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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