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Archaeo News 

15 July 2010
Ancient tomb site uncovered in Vietnam

Archaeologists made an incredible discovery, days before they were about to complete a dig working at a site in Ha Noi's Dong Anh District (Vietnam). They stumbled across eleven tombs, which date back to the Phung Nguyen culture. The Phung Nguyen remains date back about 4,000 years and are the best-preserved of any found in and around the city, archaeologists from the Viet Nam Archaeology Institute said. The tombs were discovered 1.5m, or almost 5 feet, below ground. "All the tombs are of people who were living during the Phung Nguyen civilisation, date back 3,500 to 4,000 years," said Lai Van Toi, PhD, who is in charge of excavating the site.
     Nguyen Lan Cuong, deputy general secretary of the Viet Nam Archaeologists Association said that one of the tombs, dubbed number nine, contained the well-preserved remains of a woman aged between 35-40. The woman was about 1.55m tall and was buried face up, with her arms lying by her sides and her head tilted towards her left shoulder, Cuong said. Her skull was a long ovoid shape with a long nose, and her eye sockets were relatively low in her face.
     As was typical of the aristocracy of the Phung Nguyen culture in Xom Ren in the northern province of Phu Tho, the woman's front-teeth had been removed. The other skeletons that were unearthed shared this trait, as well as skeletons dating from the Phung Nguyen culture found in Dong Dau in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, Hang To in Son La and Man Bac in Ninh Binh. The removal of the front teeth was a popular custom among the ancient peoples of south China, Japan and Oceania.
     Ceramic objects were found on the woman's left thigh and the left side of her hip. Archaeologists also found traces of red dust on her left knee bone, which is consistent with finds in other ancient tombs.
     The Dinh Trang site has been excavated a total of seven times. During the last excavation, archaeologists discovered eleven tombs, eight of which contained skeletons and teeth belonging mostly to children. Archaeologists stated that further research would be conducted on the tombs to uncover more about the Phung Nguyen culture and the Dong Son civilisation, which dates back 2,000-3,000 years.

Source: VietNam News (6 July 2010)

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