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

Binh Thuan to buy back 12 ancient cannons

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22 March 2007 (Viet Nam Net Bridge) – It may sound confusing: cannons are excavated from Binh Thuan province, the museum buys them in the open market and sells them back to the said province. It would seem that there is no automatic protection over archaeological discoveries – a case of finder’s keepers?

Viet Nam Net Bridge, Viet Nam Net Bridge 2007

Binh Thuan to buy back 12 ancient cannons

The HCM City-based Museum of History plans to sell to the southern province of Binh Thuan 12 of the 24 cannons from the Nguyen Dynasty unearthed in Binh Thuan in 2005.

Ancient bronze cannon unearthed in Quang Ninh

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13 March 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) –

Vietnam Net Bridge, 13 Mar 07

Ancient bronze cannon unearthed in Quang Ninh

An ancient bronze cannon has been unearthed in the ancient Van Don trading port in northern Quang Ninh province.

The 70-kg gun, which is 88cm long, was found 30m-deep underwater. Its barrel has a diameter of 5cm.

The gun is believed to date back nearly 200 years, according to Dr Pham Quoc Quan, director of the Vietnam History Museum. It was casted after guns used on Spanish merchant or warships.

According to Tran Trong Ha, director of the Quang Ninh Museum, the discovery marks a new stage for the underwater archeology sector in the province as well as the northern region of Viet Nam.

Scores of ancient ceramic objects were also discovered by local fishermen at the site.

Island excavations reveals thousands more of artifacts

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19 December 2006 (Nhan Dan)

Nhan Dan, 19 Dec 2006

Island excavations reveals thousands more of artifacts

Thousands of relics of the Ha Long Culture dating back 4,000-7,000 years ago have been discovered at the Cai Beo archaeological site on Cat Ba island, northern Hai Phong port city.

According to Director of the Hai Phong Museum Nguyen Phuc Tho, the museum coordinated with the Viet Nam Archaeological Institute in December to excavate the Cai Beo site. Findings at the site included hundreds of stone objects such as axes, spearheads and pestles, and thousands of ceramic pieces such as pots, bowls, plates and other daily objects.


Related Books:
Some references to the Ha Long culture can be found in
Southeast Asia: From Prehistory to History by P. S. Bellwood and I. Glover (Eds)
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.


Java sunken treasure to be sold

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19 November 2006 (BBC)

BBC, 19 Nov 2006

Java sunken treasure to be sold

Scientists in Indonesia are preparing to auction tens of thousands of artefacts salvaged from a sunken ship off the coast of Java.

The items, which are believed to be more than 1,000 years old, include ceramics, tombstones and swords.

Salvaged after 1,000 years at the bottom of the sea, the haul includes bowls from China, Thailand and Vietnam; perfume bottles from Persia; and swords and tablets engraved with Koranic inscriptions.


Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells

Ancient Shipwrecks Found in Straits of Malacca

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30 July 2006 (The Star) – Three shipwrecks, including what could possibly be the oldest European shipwreck in the region have been discovered along the Straits of Malacca by an Australian marine archaeologist.

The Star, 30 July 2006

Ancient Shipwrecks Found

Well-known Australian maritime archaeologist Dr Michael Flecker, who has carried out more than 100 explorations in numerous countries around the region, made the latest discovery during a blanket survey along the Straits last year…

He also revealed pictures he had taken of cannons, cannon balls, bones of animals that were consumed on the ships and broken Ming dynasty porcelain.

Dr Flecker is the managing director of Maritime Explorations and has been involved in underwater explorations for the past 20 years. He said the warship was located in an area between Pulau Upeh and Pulau Panjang off the coast of Malacca.

“So far, based on our research which has been done some four nautical miles from the coast of Malacca (within Federal waters), the ship could have been a Portuguese vessel under the command of Admiral Coutinho. It sank in 1583 during a battle.


Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells

Foreigner sues Government to recover artefacts

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14 June 2006 (The Star Online) – Treasure hunters are suing the Malaysian customs department for seized artefacts. Reportedly Chinese and Filipino artefacts originated from US, were in transit in Malaysia before being sent to Dubai and sold for export. (Huh?)

Foreigner sues Government to recover artefacts

The wife of an American treasure hunter has filed a suit against the Customs Department director-general and Government for the return of over RM154mil worth of artefacts seized at Port Klang in September.

It was reported that the 361 artefacts were about to be shipped to Dubai in containers when they were intercepted and seized at Northport by the authorities for investigation.

It was also reported that some of the items seized included ceramic bowls and plates, vases, chairs and tables, wooden shields, bells, gongs, spears, keris, swords, cannons and large drums believed to be from countries such as China and the Philippines.

Shipwreck discovered off Roxas City waters

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9 June 2006 (Philippine Inquirer, Visayas) – Update on the Capiz shipwreck. They still haven’t been able to identify the ship yet, particularly since it does not lie on any known shipping routes. Some minor looting has already begun.

Shipwreck discovered off Roxas City waters

He told Roxas City Mayor Antonio del Rosario that the ship was made of hardwood and they saw broken jars, among other things. They also recovered gunpowder that had solidified; it sparked when rubbed with a hard piece of stone or iron.

However, some enterprising divers and fishermen had salvaged parts of the vessel and sold it to junkshops for as high as P6,000, Lorenzo said.


Related Books:
Lost at Sea: The Strange Route of the Lena Shoal Junk
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells

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