Old tomb in southern Vietnam yields valuable historical data

TN News

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Cultural authorities in the southern province of Dong Nai Friday announced their findings about an ancient tomb that was found with little damage.


Carbon analysis estimates the tomb complex to have been built between the 17th and 18th centuries for a woman around 50-60 years old, who was 1.5 meters tall and dyed her teeth black.


Most of the skeleton in the wooden coffin remains intact, scientists said at a meeting organized by Dong Nai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


Archeologists said the complex was one of the least damaged ancient tomb complexes found in Vietnam so far.


They said it was the tomb of an aristocratic person.


On the stele of the tomb were precious texts in Nom, a language that appeared around the 8th century as a simpler transcription of the Chinese language. Nom is considered a significant innovation in Vietnam's language history.


Many decorations and structures of the complex are typical of tombs built for nobility in southern Vietnam, archeologists said.


Some decorations were seen for the first time on tombs in Vietnam, they added.


The complex was discovered nearly two months ago in Cau Xeo area in Long Thanh District when contractors were clearing the ground for an expressway project.



New mummy, new questions
Several artifacts were found buried with the body, including a brocade pocket, 20 buttons of gold and copper alloy, a black leather pillow, a pair of brocade shoes, some unhusked rice seeds, thousands of strange fruits at her feet, and a mortar for smashing areca nuts which are used to chew with betel leaves - a favored snack of women in the past.


The whole tomb has been moved to a local temple for further research and preservation.


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