Remnants of the foundations of a 10th century pagoda in Xuan Dai Mountain, Vinh Loc district, the central province of Thanh Hoa, have just been excavated.
The results have been announced recently by scientists from Ho Citadel Heritage Preservation Centre and the Vietnam Archaeology Institute.
At an excavation site on the mountainside behind Vinh Ninh Primary School, archaeologists discovered four layers of foundations constructed from large stones. Most of the stones remain in their original places, arranged in a line running east to west. Some of them fell out of line.
The Citadel of Ho Dynasty in the central Thanh Hoa Province will be preserved better following a master plan unveiled by the provincial People’s Committee on Monday.
The master plan aims to preserve and embellish the citadel, which has been recognised as a World Cultural Heritage site, and build special tourism facilities based on the area.
Specifically, the master plan will involve survey and assessment of the situation of the site; study of archeological documents and the management work of tourism activities; and defining the space for preservation and development of the surrounding areas.
You might expect a communist government to distance itself from its imperial past, but the Vietnamese regime has seen the value in celebrating the country’s bygone emperors and promoting its ancient citadels as tourist destinations.
Since 1993, eight Vietnamese locations — including three citadels — have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, with another seven awaiting formal classification.
Many of these sites are of great natural or historical significance, such as Ha Long Bay and the complex of monuments in Hue.
But the citadel to most recently acquire UNESCO’s seal of approval (in 2011) is the almost unknown Ho Citadel, situated in a remote backwater of Thanh Hoa Province, around 150 kilometers south of Hanoi.
The choice of the Ho Citadel for such a prestigious honor is strange for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the Ho Dynasty lasted just seven years (1400-1407), a mere drop in the ocean of Vietnam’s turbulent history.
The Vietnamese Institute of Archaeology announced recently the results of their latest excavation findings from the Con Moong Cave, in Thanh Hoa Province. Con Moong contains a long sequence of archaeological deposits going back to the late Pleistocene.
Despite the earlier troubles reported about local tensions at the Ho Citadel site, there is also another project to help raise appreciation of the local heritage through photography by letting locals document their lives in the world heritage site.
Citadel of the Ho Dynasty. Source: Viet Nam News 20140609
Vietnam’s Ho Citadel in Thanh Hoa Province was declared a World Heritage Site in 2011, but there is a conflict now between the authorities and the people living in the protected buffer zone over illegal construction.