Rumors cause collectors to raid archaeological site

Looting of antiquities in Vietnam.

3 May 2006 (Thanh Nien News) – Looting of antiquities in Vietnam.

Rumors cause collectors to raid archaeological site

Over the past two months, hundreds of people in Nghia Hoa commune, Nghia Dan district made their way to Dong Hieu rubber tree plantation located in Lang Vac (Vac Village) to hunt for antiques.

The wave of collectors began after a rumor that a person found a pair of ancient elephant statues there and sold them in Hanoi for hundreds of millions of dong (one US dollar is worth just under VND16,000).

Since then local residents have flocked to the archaeological site, which the Ministry of Culture and Information recognized as a national heritage in 1999, to dig for antiques in search of fast cash…

Hai also said many residents had found antiques, usually bronze products in shapes of deer, hippopotamuses, and wild-bulls, stone bracelets, pottery, iron swords, axes, and small bronze drums.

Related Books:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham
Bronze Dong Son Drums by Ha Thuc Can
Van Hoa Dong Son / Dong Son Culture – Its Unity and Diversity by Pham Minh Huyen

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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