The enlightening antique collection


A prized, awe-inspiring private collection of potteries dating back to the pre-Sa Huynh and Sa Huynh cultures (from the second millennium BC to the early AD) may add some thousands of years to the history of central Hue city, Vietnam's former imperial capital. This prized collection, considered unique and unparalleled by Phan and several archeologists and historians, is much of the digging work by local fishermen and boatmen in the area's rivers, especially the Huong river, which spans over 30 years and has never ceased till now. The cherished collection Phan began his extensive cultural and historical research before 1975 by voraciously reading books, especially old literature in Han (ancient Chinese) and Nom (Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese). By sheer chance, his wife was gifted some pottery antiques in payment for helping a boatman's wife deliver her child. The boatman then told the intrigued Phan that he had stumbled across the items in the Huong river bed. As the … [Read more...]

Monumental blunder


Historic relics suffer as Hue pays excessive attention to one dynasty Thousands of artifacts dating back to prehistoric age and the Sa Huynh Culture (1,000 BC and 200 AD) excavated from Con Rang and Con Dai archaeological sites are stored in a dilapidated warehouse belonging to the Thua ThienHue Museum of History and Revolution. On rainy days, people cover the artifacts with raincoats and waterproof cloth. … [Read more...]

Discovering the past – Sa Huynh culture

Archeological researcher Ho Tan Phan explains a Sa Huynh culture's object. After 30 years working in the field of Sa Huynh Culture, he has collected hundreds of the objects (Photo: Tuoi Tre Newspaper)

Along with an exhibit, "Sa Huynh - 100 nam phat trien va nghien cuu" (Sa Huynh culture - 100 years on development and research), in Hanoi, Tuoi Tre newspaper talked with a researcher, Ho Tan Phan, who has spent over 30 years on the Sa Huynh culture. Tuoi Tre: How hard has it been to research a dead culture? Ho Tan Phan:The first thing I want to mention is that our country is very lucky to possess three gorgeous cultures, including Dong Son in the north, Sa Huynh in the central region and Dong Nai in the south. And in research by most foreign archeologists, all three were mostly mentioned. As for Sa Huynh culture, we already detected some remains of it a century ago, especially in Hue, were we have not forgotten the digging at three venues, including Con Rang, Con Dai and Cua Thieng, a few years after 1975. At these sites, we discovered unique aspects of the culture in the sediment of the bottom of the rivers nearby. Some unexpected discoveries by fishermen during their work at … [Read more...]

Rare object fished out of Huong river

A nearly intact earthen tripod was recently fished out of the Huong River, and is now one of the most important items in cultural researcher Ho Tan Phan's collection of ancient pottery found in riverbeds around Hue. The earthen tripod is made out of baked raw clay mixed with impurities. It is decorated by rope patterns vertically running from the mouth to the bottom. The 19cm-high object has a face of 8cm in length and 6cm in width with three horizontally-laid-holes. The object was found in the Huong River near the Sinh intersection on land, and in the proximity of the Hoa Chau ancient citadel, an important center of the Vietnamese people under the Le Dynastry, and also a place where the Champa people once lived . Cultural researchers and archaeologists speculation that it is a cooking pot, but there is no exact evidence to place it exactly. The use of the three holes has not yet been fully explained. The recently found item is a rare object, only found at several prehistoric … [Read more...]

Archaeological News

According to Decision nr. 3536 - BVHTT of the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Museum of History of Vietnam in coordination with the Service of Culture and Information of Thua Thien - Hue, has undertaken the archaeological excavation of the site Con Dai, commune of Huong Chu, district of Huong Tra, province of Thua Thien - Hue. According to Decision nr. 3536 - BVHTT of the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Museum of History of Vietnam in coordination with the Service of Culture and Information of Thua Thien - Hue, has undertaken the archaeological excavation of the site Con Dai, commune of Huong Chu, district of Huong Tra, province of Thua Thien - Hue. This is a site belonging to Sa Huynh culture, having many relations with the site Con Rang excavated before, with an age of from 2000 - 2500 years. The excavated area is: 150m2. Time of excavation: from December to the end of October 2006. Responsible of the excavation: Dr Vũ Quốc Hiền, vice-director of the Museum of … [Read more...]

Over 200 Ancient Tombs Found in Thua Thien-Hue

The tombs found at the Con Rang relics in Thua Thien - Hue Province's Huong Tra District.

A total of 216 ancient tombs dating back to Sa Huynh culture were found buried together at the Con Rang relics in Huong Tra district of central Thua Thien-Hue province. The result of the third excavation is the biggest archaeological discovery about the number of such tombs found in the central region so far, said archaeologists from the Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology and the provincial Revolutionary-Historical Museum. Director of the Thua Thien Hue Revolutionary-Historical Museum Van Dinh Thanh said that the tombs with four different shapes were buried in a vertical position. Archaeologists found more than 1,300 artefacts made of iron, bronze, stone, glass and porcelain at the two previous excavations in the Con Rang relics. … [Read more...]

Ancient tombs of Sa Huynh culture discovered in central Vietnam

An additional 216 ancient tombs, including more than 200 jar tombs, have been found in the central province of Thua Thien Hue. The tombs cover 2,300sq.m of the Con Rang relics site in Phu O hamlet, Huong Chu commune of Huong Tra district and were excavated on July 30 by the Vietnam Archaeological Institute in coordination with the Thua Thien-Hue Revolutionary and HistoricMuseum. Archaeologists said these tombs belonged to the Sa Huynh culture, dating back over 2,000 years. Earlier, as many as 1,319 artifacts were also unearthed at the Con Rang relics site, including items made from iron, bronze, stone, glass and pottery. … [Read more...]

The illuminating 700-year-old excavation finds


The preliminary finds including unique items, recovered from the shipwreck off central Quang Ngai province's Binh Chau commune after a painstaking excavation that kicked off early last month and adopted an innovative excavation method, are really eye-opening. Excavator to expand site for more possible shipwrecks According to Dr. Pham Quoc Quan, from the National Heritage Council, at the June 30 finding report meeting, this shipwreck, which dates back to the 13th century, is the oldest and relatively most intact compared to the five previous ones. "The potteries which were previously unidentified now cement our research so far. Though we haven't made specific inventories of all these antiques, they come in a wide variety, with many brown-glazed items unseen by archeologists before," he noted. The hulk and the antiques it carried have provided researchers with abundant intriguing information on various issues, including the ship's structure and craftsmanship, the origins, … [Read more...]

French academy keen on developing Vietnam’s contemporary culture


A French institution has conducted extensive research on contemporary Vietnamese culture alongside its academic studies since it resumed operations in Vietnam over 20 years ago. >> Vietnam at beginning of 20th century through French academy’s photos École française d'Extrême-Orient (French School of the Far East), or EFEO, which is dedicated to the study of Asian societies, was founded in 1900 with its headquarters based in Saigon. The institute relocated to Hanoi in 1902 before ending its operation in Vietnam in 1957. The institute’s main fields of research are archeology, philology and the study of modern Asian societies. During its early days, EFEO placed an emphasis on developing new science disciplines, which were in their infancy in the Southeast Asian country back then. The French academy reopened in Hanoi in 1993, which marked a new phase in cooperation between Vietnam and France in social sciences and the humanities. It … [Read more...]

Teacher Nguyen Tra’s free class for disadvantaged children


(VOVworld) – For more than 20 years, teacher Nguyen Tra of Dong Da district, Hanoi, has taught disadvantaged children free of charge even after his retirement. Tra was commended by President Truong Tan Sang on the occasion of Vietnamese Teachers’ Day on November 20. Phuong Thoa reports: 82-year-old Tra considers teaching his responsibility in school and society so he decided to persuade poor children to attend his class with both material and spiritual support. In 1992 he decided to use the worship house of his family clan to open a free class for poor children. The class has neither chalk nor blackboard, just Tra and his students. Tra also teaches French, German, English, Italian, and Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese. Pham Thi Anh Tuyet has been studying Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese for 17 years: "I started learning Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese because not many people knew it at that time. I also learned French. Teacher Tra is like a living dictionary. He can answer … [Read more...]

Hanoiologist Vu Tuan San and 100 years with Hanoi

The 100-year-old researcher on Hanoi, Vu Tuan San won the Grand Prize in the 2014 Bui Xuan Phai - For Love of Hanoi Awards

(VOVworld) - Vu Tuan San, a veteran researcher of Hanoi and Han-Nom studies, has won the Grand Prize in the 2014 Bui Xuan Phai - For Love of Hanoi Awards. At the age of 100 San, who was born and raised in Hanoi, is still absorbed in his research every day. We visited researcher Vu Tuan San at his house in Hoang Mai district on an October autumn morning. San still lives in the same place, an area with a common gate for six households clustered around a charming garden and a fish pond. In a small but tidy room full of books, San loses himself in reading, studying, and writing. The autumn weather recalls a time when Hanoi's intellectuals faced a decisive choice 60 years ago. San recalls: … [Read more...]

Vietnam youths work to connect past glory to present reality


Young people in Vietnam have found their own ways to revive history, including writing books on ancient attire, creating 3D historical paintings, and restoring old houses. Some choose to become researchers to retrace history for their work, while others are like 'developers of history' who create new products featuring historical vestiges. … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 14/8


Short film series to be presented in HCM City Ten short films in the series Berlinale Shorts Go Abroad of the International Film Festival of Berlin will be screened at Cafe Thu Bay coffee shop this weekend. … [Read more...]

Translated royal diplomas on display

DA NANG (VNS) - The central city's museum is displaying a translation of 12 royal diplomas that Emperor Tu Duc conferred on Pham Phu Thu, a high-ranking mandarin of the dynasty. The translation was completed in three months by Deputy Director of the museum Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien. The translated versions of the old royal documents will help reveal information, and the contribution to the country and the Nguyen dynasty by the mandarin. One of the royal decrees was written by Emperor Tu Duc, the fourth emperor of the Nguyen dynasty who reigned from 1847-83, in honouring the service, talent and virtue of Thu after he passed away. … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s Maritime: Ancestors’ history books assert Vietnam’s national sovereignty

Photo taken from the 1827 World Atlas Bruxelles. The World Atlas Bruxelles which has been judged by the French and Belgian historians as the high scientific and legal value in affirming the undeniable sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.— File Photo

(VOVworld) - Since feudal times, Vietnamese people have attached importance to raising awareness of national sovereignty. History books in the Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese show that lessons about national sovereignty used to be a top priority. Issues relating to Vietnam's territorial borders have been mentioned in history books since the feudal era. For instance, a book giving an overview of Vietnamese history written in the late 19th century described the country's history, name changes, border changes and administrative and geographical names from the Hung Kings to the Nguyen Dynasty. … [Read more...]

Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese book proves Truong Sa, Hoang Sa belong to Vietnam

Associate Professor Trinh Khac Manh says the book is of scientific significance and is legal foundation to confirm Vietnam's sovereignty over territorial waters in the East Sea

(VOVworld) - A book in Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese confirming Vietnam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa archipelagoes made its debut in Hanoi on Tuesday. The book comprises 46 documents - maps, sets of historical and geographical monographs, volumes of administrative documents, and a collection of poems - fully recording Vietnamese sovereignty over the archipelagoes and territorial waters of the East Sea. Most worthy of note is the map, entitled 'The Collection of Route Map from the Capital to the Four Directions' compiled by Do Ba in about 1630. It clearly shows Hoang Sa Archipelago in the East Sea with the name of 'Bai Cat Vang' or Golden sand which is about 400 miles long and 20 miles wide. … [Read more...]

Scholar devotes years to Hoang Sa research

Patriotic: Tuong studies Viet Nam's sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands. — VNS Photos Nguyen Huy

by Nguyen Huy and Ha Nguyen Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, 90, has invested almost 20 years researching about Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands, despite facing many difficulties. We visited his home in the central city of Da Nang's Tran Quy Cap Road on a pleasant day to gain more knowledge about his research and love for the islands. He showed us a 400-page manuscript about Hoang Sa, which had been compiled, collected, and written by him. When asked why he had spent time and energy doing research on the archipelago, Tuong proudly asserted that it is Viet Nam's sovereignty that cannot be deprived of. He recalled that by the year 1997, Da Nang was being separated from the former province of Quang Nam-Da Nang. Hoang Sa is a district level administration belonging to Da Nang, but at that time, it was difficult to find official documents and newspapers about the islands. "I travelled to the archive centres in Ha Noi and HCM City as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to search for the … [Read more...]