Sapa's petroglyphs risk getting erased

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Tourists climbing the engraved rocks at Sapa, Vietnam Net Bridge 20120129

The picture says it all. The engraved boulders of Sapa are slowly being eroded – naturally from the environment, but at an accelerated rate from tourists clambering onto the rocks. I visited the site two years ago and many of the engravings on the larger boulders which were accessible to tourists were already faint due to smoothening of the rock surface or vandalised.

Tourists climbing the engraved rocks at Sapa, Vietnam Net Bridge 20120129

Tourists climbing the engraved rocks at Sapa, Vietnam Net Bridge 20120129

Distress cry for help from Sapa ancient rock field
Vietnam Net Bridge, 29 January 2012
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Fossil finds reveal range of pleistocene wildlife

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Over 500 fossils have been found at the Ma Tuyen Cave in Lao Cai province of Vietnam, representing at least 12 animal species including bears, elephants, horses and rhinos.

10,000 year old elephant teeth discovered in Lao Cai
Saigon Giai Phong, 12 June 2010

Twelve animal species found in Lao Cai cave [Link no longer available]
Viet Nam News, 17 June 2010
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How artists view Sapa’s ancient rock carvings

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20 September 2006 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – This article has made me change my “cave drawings” category to “Cave Art / Rock Art”.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 20 Sep 2006

How artists view Sapa’s ancient rock carvings

Artistic interpretations of the strange rock carvings around Sapa are the theme of a photographic exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Institute, the Southeast Prehistory Center and the Lao Cai Department of Culture and Information at the Hanoi University of Fine Arts until the end of September.

Ancient bronze weapons unearthed in Lao Cai province

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8 June 2006 (Nhan Dan) – Short report on a Dong Son weapon find, including a trident and axe.

Ancient bronze weapons unearthed in Lao Cai province

These original antiques include an intact trident, which is 13 cm long and 7.5 cm wide and has 4 barbed points, and an axe with patterns typical of the Dong Son Culture. Though buried underground for thousands of years, the metal is still in good condition.


Related Books:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham
Van Hoa Dong Son / Dong Son Culture – Its Unity and Diversity by Pham Minh Huyen