|22 July 2007
Vietnam discoveries may be three millennia old
Archaeologists have confirmed that artefacts found in Buon Rau village, Hoa Tien Commune, in Krong Pak (Dac Lac, Vietnam) are as much as 3,000 years old. Local farmers first unearthed what they thought to be antique ceramics and stone tools in 2001 while planting coffee and pepper. They passed them to Dac Lac museum and archaeologists began excavating a 1.5ha site in Buon Rau in 2003.
Despite damage caused by farming, after 10 days of digging to a depth of 50cm an archaeological team led by Dr Tran Quy Thinh unearthed a number of ancient artefacts that led experts to declare the site one of the most valuable in the country. Archaeologists have since unearthed thousands of items of pottery, stone tools, and four burial jars. Among the most valuable finds were a number of stone rectangular and trapezium-shaped axes, a grinding stone and jewellery. Archaeologists believe the site was settled over a long period and that it might have been an important commercial centre.
The archaeologists said there was evidence that the inhabitants of Buon Rau had dealings with the ancient people of the southern Dong Nai river valley in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) and with the people of the Po Co river valley in the North of Tay Nguyen. It is believed therefore that Tay Nguyen underwent an extensive period of development, on a par with the Hong and Ma rivers civilisations. If that were the case, scientists are left pondering the enigma of the highly developed civilisationís sudden disappearance.
Source: Vietnam News Agency (21 July 2007)
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