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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Nguyen-era bridge "found" in Vietnam

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10 July 2007 (Thanh Nien News) – There’s something wrong with this story. Can archaeologists “find” a bridge when it has been still in use for the last 250 years? I mean, if I stumble across a Dong Son drum underneath a metre of dirt, I could say I “found” it. But here, this bridge has been in constant use to modern times, so why should anyone lay claim to “finding” it? I should go downstairs now to “find” a car.

Bridge, over 250 years old, found in Vietnam

Vietnamese archaeologists have discovered a stone bridge dating back from the time of King Le Canh Hung (1740-1786) in the northern Cao Bang province.

The experts from the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology and provincial museum found the 260-year-old bridge in Hung Quoc town in good condition and still being used by people.

The museum director, Phung Chi Kien, said the bridge was vaulted, 4.75m long, and 2.46m wide.

It had been built using large stones, the biggest of which was 1.73m long, 0.34m wide and 0.24m high, he said.

Near the bridge is a stele placed in 1831 by the Nguyen dynasty’s Emperor Minh Mang. It says: The bridge was built during King Le Canh Hung’s reign 1749 and repaired during Emperor Minh Mang’s reign in 1831.

It will be preserved by the province’s culture and information agency.


Books about the Vietnamese kingdoms and dynasties:
Vietnam: An Illustrated History (Illustrated Histories) by L. S. Woods
Nguyen Cochinchina: Southern Vietnam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Studies on Southeast Asia) by T. Li

Vietnamese archaeologists cooperate with French museum

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14 December 2006 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – Archaeologists from the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology will be working with the National Guimet Museum in France to investigate some 5,000 artifacts left behind by a French historian.

Vietnamese archaeologists cooperate with French museum

The Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology and the National Guimet Museum of Asian Arts of France have agreed on a long-term cooperation and study programme.

During a week-long working visit to the Guimet Museum in France starting on Dec. 6, Vietnamese archaeologists joined with Guimet experts in evaluating more than 5,500 Vietnamese artifacts collected by historian Henri Maspero.

Donated to the Guimet Museum after Henri Maspero’s death, the artifacts include bricks, tiles, architectural decorations, ceramic, porcelains and steel objects from different locations in Ha Noi between 1920-1930.

The Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology and the National Guimet Museum of Asian Arts agreed to work together to shed light on the historical and cultural values as well as the origin and age of these artifacts.

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.