Vietnamese archaeological treasures

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(QNO) - Several exhibitions on Treasures of Vietnam’s archaeology have been organized domestically and internationally in order to introduce Vietnam’s typical and unique  archaeological artifacts to the public. Among them are those excavated from the UNESCO world heritage sites (such as in My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam province). The exhibitions have represented the Vietnam’s tens-of-thousands-year archaeological culture.

The statue of Shiva’s head was discovered in Dong Duong Buddhist Institute.
The statue of Shiva’s head was discovered in Dong Duong Buddhist Institute.

In 2016, some famous archaeological museums in Germany such as the Westphalia-Lippe Archaeological Museum in Herne, the National Museum of Archaeology in Chemnitz and the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim organized some exhibitions of 350 antiques under the title “Treasures of Vietnam’s archaeology”. Before carried to Germany, these treasures were preserved and displayed in 8 different Vietnamese museums such as the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the museums in Hanoi, Binh Duong, Dong Thap, Lam Dong, Phu Tho, and the My Son Management Board of Relics and Tourism in Quang Nam province.

Vishnu statue, a treasure of Oc Eo culture.
Vishnu statue, a treasure of Oc Eo culture.

The exhibitions in Germany attracted visitors’ attention, helping people in Germany as well as in Europe learn more about the country, culture and people of Vietnam. After that, the artifacts were returned to Vietnam and are now being displayed in the National Museum of Vietnamese History.

Truong Thinh bronze drum of Dong Son culture
Truong Thinh bronze drum of Dong Son culture

The artifacts are displayed scientifically so that visitors can recognize how, where, by whom, and in what context they were discovered. As a result, individual artifacts provide higher information values than themselves. Each artifact can tell a story of the past. In addition, the exhibitors want to draw attention to archeological activities in Vietnam.

A plate decorated with dragons under the early Le dynasty, an artifact from the wrecked ship in Cham Islands (Quang Nam province)
A plate decorated with dragons under the early Le dynasty, an artifact from the wrecked ship in Cham Islands (Quang Nam province)

On the Vietnam’s list of archaeological treasures, there is especially a Viet Khe boat tomb with more than 100 objects buried with the death found in Hai Phong in 1961. It is the most valuable tomb in Southeast Asia because it contains many undamaged objects such as weapons, musical instrument, and containers.

Terra-cotta head of phoenix under Ly dynasty
Terra-cotta head of phoenix under Ly dynasty

The Cham culture gallery presents some stone sculptures such as the statue of Shiva’s head, dating back to the 9th century, the statue of standing Shiva, dating between the 8th and 9th centuries, the statue of Dikpalaka in the 10th-11th centuries. Among them is the Mukhalinga statue in My Son, one of the two national treasures found in Quang Nam recognized by the Prime Minister of Vietnam in 2014.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien said that the exhibition with lots of special unique artifacts only found in Vietnam once again affirmed Vietnamese cultural values through historic periods. The success in Germany encouraged the ministry to plan more exhibitions on Vietnamese archaeological treasures in other countries in order to promote Vietnamese cultural values to the world.