via Vietnam Express, 13 November 2020: A story on how a Vietnamese collector has amassed 15,000 prehistoric stone tools from Kon Tum province. I feel a lot of ambivalence towards this – buying stone tools is not illegal in Vietnam, what else can we learn about the past now that so much contextual evidence has been lost.
For Van Dinh Thanh of Kon Tum Province, prehistoric artifacts are not only peculiar household decorations, but also treasure troves of historic values, offering a glimpse of the distant past.
Inside the numerous boxes Thanh opened were several ceramic and stone axes, picks and the like. The most common among these were axes made of phthanite and sandstone. Thanh carefully laid them on a sheet of barege, reminiscing on how fate had introduced him to the hobby of collecting ancient artifacts.
“At first I only wanted to collect them as decorations around the house. But after I learned more about them, I discovered they bore great historical value,” he said.
Thanh, 67, has collected around 15,000 stone artifacts believed to have belonged to prehistoric humans about 2,000-4,000 years ago. The Central Highlands native treats his collection like a treasure trove, labeling and preserving each item with great care.