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13 May 2003
Ancient bronze drum found in Vietnam

A 2,000 year old bronze drum has been unearthed by a farmer in northern Vietnam. The 22 kg drum was discovered on April 29th by Pham Van Hien, a member of the Vo Lao commune, 170 km north-west of Hanoi. "We are still evaluating the drum," says Nguyen Manh Cuong of the Lao Cai provincial museum, "It is beautiful. The surface is rusty, but otherwise the piece is in good condition." The drum is believed to be from the Dong Song period and between 2,000 and 2,500 years old.
     According to Tay Lu Xuan Dang, a commune official from the Tay ethnic minority group, stone axes, bronze arrowheads and other basic tools have been found in the commune, but this is the first musical instrument. "Because 96% of our commune's population is ethnic Tay, we don't tend to know the value of these things. So we just threw them away," said Dang. The local authorities are deciding on an appropriate reward for the find.

Source: iol.co.za (9 May 2003)

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