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.

photo credit: travlinman43

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Vietnam’s Thang Long Citadel one step closer to World Heritage status

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The Vietnamese government has completed its documentation of the ancient capital of Thang Long (Ha Noi), required for submission to UNESCO for World Heritage consideration.

Thang Long Citadel, Nhan Dan, 11 August 2008

Royal citadel’s file completed for UNESCO recognition [Link no longer active]
Nhan Dan, 11 August 2008

Thang Long citadel closes in on UNESCO recognition [Link no longer active]
Viet Nam News, 11 August 2008
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The Son Tay Citadel

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03 November 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – Built in 1822, the Son Tay Citadel stood guard over the western gate to what is now known as Hanoi. This travel piece takes a walk through the citadel, which seems to have been unfortunately badly restored.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 03 Nov 2007

All quiet on the western front

In my mind I had pictured Son Tay town as a sleeping beauty in amongst the hundreds of craft villages of Ha Tay province. I became determined to discover the region’s “hidden charm” and cajoled my uncle into tagging along.

After we arrive, at first, we just amble along the town’s older streets. Everywhere the houses seem small and tidy, the people seem good-natured and the town as a whole seems quaint and tranquil.

When I arrive at the moat that surrounds the ancient citadel we’re given the option of rowing across in a small bamboo boat, though we choose to stroll across the bridge.

Son Tay ancient citadel was built by King Minh Mang in 1822 to defend the western gateway to the city of Thang Long, which is now, of course, Hanoi.

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A look at excavations in Hanoi

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16 October 2007 (New York Times) – The New York Times carries a well-written feature on the current archaeological excavations going on in Hanoi, seeking to understand the ancient capital of Thang Long, which was founded by the Ly dynasty a millennia earlier. The excavation is said to be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

A Rich and Royal Ruin in the Heart of Hanoi
by Jennifer Pinkowski

Nine hundred years before Ho Chi Minh declared Hanoi the capital of a newly independent Vietnam in 1945, the first king of the Ly Dynasty issued a similar decree.

In 1010 King Ly Thai To picked Thang Long (“Ascending Dragon”), situated within present-day Hanoi, as the capital for a country that had defeated the Tang Dynasty less than a century before, ending a millennium of Chinese rule.

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