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9 April 2005
Archeologists dig up Bronze Age casting centre

Archeologists claim to have found Viet Namís largest Bronze Age metallurgy centre, estimated to be 3,500 years old. The site, located at the Den Citadel in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, has yielded many discoveries which indicate that the site is the largest centre of bronze casting in Viet Nam to have been discovered so far, said Lam Thi My Dung, director of the Museum of Anthropology.
     Metallurgy and bronze-casting are representative of the Dong Dau culture, according to Dr Ha Van Phung of the Viet Nam Archeological Institute. Bronze made its first appearance in Viet Nam in the middle of the second millenium BCE, along with stone tools. A representative site was discovered in 1958 in Phung Nguyen, also in Vinh Phuc Province.
     The Phung Nguyen civilisation gave rise to the Dong Dau period in the second half of the second millennium BCE. Succeeding the Dong Dau culture were the Go Mun people in the early in the first millennium BCE. The Bronze Age reached its peak with the fourth and final stage, the Dong Son culture.
     Dong Dau remnants are scattered in the uplands and the Song Hong (Red River) Delta. To date, archeologists have discovered 37 sites. The 24,000 sqm archeological site in the Den Citadel was discovered in 1970. Since then four excavations have been conducted in 1983, 1984, 1996 and in February of this year. Through the four excavations, archeologists found traces of the Phung Nguyen civilisation in the upper layers of the site and of the Go Mun at the lower layers.
     "Traces at the site demonstrate a continuous evolution of the cultures in which the Dong Dau civilisation was the bridge between the Phung Nguyen and Go Mun cultures," Dung said. The Den Citadel archeological site is estimated to be more than 3,500 years old. Tools found in the area include production implements, weapons, domestic utensils and ornamental works of art of various materials. Bronze axes, representative of the age, were also found here, along with arrowheads and fish hooks.

Source: Viet Nam News (5 April 2005)

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