A Dong Son drum in East Timor

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Source: Viet Nam Net 20151203

A hint into the potential archaeology from East Timor – the discovery of a bronze Dong Son drum in Baucau. There have been several such drums found in East Timor now, and similar drums turn up all over Southeast Asia which suggests a rather extensive exchange network of either goods or expertise across the region 2,000 years ago.

Source: Viet Nam Net 20151203

Source: Viet Nam Net 20151203

Vietnam’s ancient Dong Son drum found in Timor Leste
Viet Nam Net, 03 december 2015

A relatively intact bronze drum believed to belong to the Dong Son culture, originating in Vietnam over 2,000 years ago, has recently been discovered in Timor Leste.

The drum, 1.03 metres in diameter, 78 cm in height, and 80kg in weight, was found accidentally at a construction site in Baucau, the second largest city in Timor Leste, in late 2014. However, official information was just released in late November this year after researchers had conducted preliminary assessment.

Archaeologist Nuno Vasco Oliveira from the Timor Lester Government’s General Directorate of Art and Culture said he is certain that the item is a Dong Son bronze drum – an icon of the Dong Son culture (700 B.C. – 100 AD) of the ancient Vietnamese people.

This is not the first time a Dong Son drum has been found in Timor Leste. The ones previously unearthed were badly damaged while the newly found item is in a relatively good condition.

Full story here.

Wednesday Rojak #48

Because of all the holiday traveling (Christmas, New Year, and Chinese New Year) and fieldwork, it’s been nearly two months since the last time I posted a rojak. I’ve got quite a fair bit collected over the last few weeks, so without further ado, here are some of the interesting blogs and stories about archaeology and Southeast Asia, the first for the year.

Ayutthaya
photo credit: travlinman43

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Central Vietnam yields more relics

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13 September 2007 (Thanh Nien News) – Besides mentioning the three cannons posted yesterday, other finds mentioned here include a bas-relief of a naga, a snake-deity in Hindu mythology, and a bronze Dong Son drum.

More relics found in central Vietnam

Several historical artifacts – including guns, bas-reliefs and a bronze drum – have been unearthed in three provinces on Vietnam’s central coast.

Local residents in Thua Thien-Hue province have recently discovered three guns at the site of the ancient Hoa Chau citadel in Quang Thanh commune, Quang Dien district.

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The illegal trade in ancient bronze drums

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06 August 2008 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – This piece of alarming news comes from the Dak Lak province, where Dong Son drums have been recently discovered, and how as many of 50 of them have been illegally excavated and smuggled out.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 06 Aug 2007

Many ancient bronze drums being illegally excavated

In the past four months, 50 bronze drums have been unearthed and transported illegally out Krong Nang district in Dak Lak province, said doctor Tran Quy Thinh from the Vietnam Archeological Institute.

Of these, the only one that is yet to be sold is at present being kept by Nguyen Thi Dieu from Xuan Vinh commune. Ms. Dieu has asked Dak Lak Museum for VND100million (US$6,000) for the ancient drum.

The drum, which was discovered in Ms. Dieu’s garden, is a Dong Son Drum Type 1, which dates back 2,200 years. The surface’s diameter is 65 cm, and the diameter of the bottom is 67 cm.

This is considered the most intact of all the ancient bronze drums that have been discovered in the Central Highlands of Dak Lak so far. Archeologists have recently restored another smaller Type 1 bronze drum found in the district of Krong Pack, where other 3,000-year-old artifacts have also been discovered.


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