Centuries-old tomb left exposed in northern Vietnam

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A 400 year-old tomb was discovered in the northern province of Nam Dinh five months ago, but the local government has left it threatened by a construction project and unprotected from the elements.


Nam Dinh Museum and the province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposed in late August a preservation plan to the local government.


The plan mentioned a fund worth nearly VND70 million (US$3,358) for urgent excavation of the relic in June before it deforms.


Yet the tomb, discovered in early April by construction workers of an industrial zone, is still left in the sun and rain.


The province government was only informed of the issue after investor of the industrial zone Vinatex Investment JSC in July said that they had agreed to halt their construction, but if the tomb was not excavated by the end of July, the company would remove it to continue their work.


Nam Dinh Museum in May managed to persuade Vinatex to delay the construction and help with the excavation under Vietnam's Cultural Heritage Law.


Officials from the museum announced in a statement on April 6 that the tomb is a mummy one from the Later Le Dynasty (1428 to 1788).


The tomb was made from a mixture of lime, sand, honey, and the coffin from a kind of fragrant sterilizing wood, the statement said.


Many antiques were also found buried around the tomb, including pottery and terra-corta items ranging from the fourth and fifth centuries BC and through the first and third centuries during the Chinese invasion period.

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