13th-century cemetary to be open to public

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17 June 06 (Viet Nam News) – A hidden complex of tombs from the Tran-Le Dynasty in the 13th century will be open to public in a bid to develop regional tourism. The tombs were hidden in caves on a sheer rock face, effectively cutting them from human access. While the development plans will include the building of roads and other tourist amenities to make the cave more accessible, there is also the tantalising prospect of other similar mortuary caves hidden in the region.


13th-century tomb to be open to public

Deep inside the relatively modest Pha Hang Mountain in the province of Thanh Hoa rests a treasure trove of coffins dating back to the 13th century.

The remarkable finds, about 160km from Ha Noi, have remained off limits to the public since their discovery a decade ago.

But now, provincial officials are opening the doors to the Tran-Le dynasties cemetery as part of VND22 billion programme to open the region to tourism.

While Pha Hang is far from grandiose, it’s sheer rock face has for centuries hid the bounty within.

That all changed in 1997 when a local villager ambled into the cave while searching for a runaway goat. What he found amazed archaeologists.

The 10m-high and 30m-deep cave was divided into three sections, like an ancient house, said Nguyen Gia Doi from the Archaeology Institute of Viet Nam. Two big doors let the air and sun into the cave, helping dry out the area.

There are more than 100 wooden coffins in all, ranging in size from large to small and containing the bodies of children and adults. Whittled from tree trunks, they line the walls of the cave, balanced on shelves carved into the rock. It is considered the largest cemetery of its kind in the country.

Doi, who has spent 10 years studying the find, believes the remains likely belong to members of the Thai ethnic minority who have lived in the area for thousands of years.

Read more about the mortuary caves in Thanh Hoa Province.

Possible Vietnam prehistoric site to be submerged soon

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4 April 2007 (Thanh Nien News) – What is the best way to deal with a situation like this. The state decides to build a dam. Two months into the construction of the dam, a trove of archaeological artefacts are found, smack in the middle where the water catchment is supposed to be. Hopefully, the Vietnam Archaeology Institute will be able to organise a salvage dig.

Neolithic artifacts from Dak Nong province

Possible Vietnam prehistoric site to be submerged soon

A farmer in central Vietnam has collected over 1,000 suspected Neolithic Period artifacts found locally but the site of his farm is soon to be submerged under a dam.

Dr Nguyen Gia Doi of the Vietnam Archaeology Institute said the objects might date back to 3,500 – 4,000 BCE after visiting Nguyen The Vinh’s farm in the central highlands’ Dak Nong province.

Vinh has shards of pottery and tools like axes and spearheads, chisels, and pots all found inn the area in the last four years.

Related Books:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham

Daknong discovers prehistoric instrument arsenal

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7 December 2006 (Vietnam Net Bridge)

Daknong discovers prehistoric instrument arsenal

The Vietnam Institute of Archaeology and the Daknong Province Museum have announced the results of excavating remains in Dak Wil Commune in the province’s Cu Jut District.

The archaeological site was discovered for the first time in December of last year, and excavated last month. According to the results of surveying, there were four groups of stone relics in two hectares.

The archaeological delegation collected 127 objects such as stone axes, graters, and material stones in 53 square meters. In addition, there were 400 pieces of pottery and fossil sea animals, which dated back 4,000 years.

Archaeological site unearthed in mountainous region

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30 November 2006 (Thanh Nien News) – Prehistoric stone tool finds in a mountainous region of Vietnam, and a brief mention of Champa relics found in Hoi An.

Archaeological site unearthed in mountainous region

An excavation carried out in November by the institute in an area of 53 sq.m unearthed 127 relics, including 400 pottery fragments, stone tools, graters and fossilized sea animals dating back some 4,000 years.

Dr. Nguyen Gia Doi, an expert from the institute confirmed the site was a prehistoric labor tool-manufacturing center.

The site was unearthed last December 2005 in Dak Wil commune, Dak Nong’s Cu Jut district, he said.

Covering an area of 4ha, the archaeological site reportedly encompasses four relic zones, where remains from the Stone Age are said to lie.

The institute also asked the Dak Nong provincial administration to take measures to protect the site, pending further excavations.