Ancient boat-shaped tomb unearthed in central Vietnam

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A boat-shaped grave unearthed in the central province of Nghe An is believed to date back some 1,000 years

A boat-shaped tomb believed to be a thousand years old has been discovered in the central province of Nghe An, Dan Tri reported on Monday.

The grave was found some 400 meters north of Bach Ma Temple by Nguyen Van Vinh, as he was dredging a fish pond in late 2011, the online newspaper said, quoting an announcement released by the provincial relics and landscape management board on Saturday.

Following the discovery, Vinh had the remains inside moved and reburied at a local graveyard, while the ancient tomb was sent to a local communal house for public display.

Speaking to Dan Tri, Phan Van Hung, deputy chief of the management board, said the grave probably belonged to an ancient Vietnamese a thousand years ago.

He, however, did not give any explanation about the delayed official announcement.

According to the newspaper, the grave, made from rare lim wood (Erythrophleum fordii), was 3.6 meters long and had a diameter of 0.7 meters. It also contained a cooper basin with a 49-centimeter diameter, two round handles and a cross-carved bottom.

Several locals said in 1986 and 1987 they also found many similar graves during their irrigation works at the back of Bach Ma Temple.

The temple was said to be built by Ly Nhat Quang, a prince of the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225), to worship his father Ly Thai To and mother Le Thi Phat Ngan during the time he served as head of Nghe Tinh District, now divided into Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces.

In other news, archeologists have found an ancient grave at the intersection of Buoi Dyke and Dao Tan Streets in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, VnExpress reported on Saturday.

It said the grave was found during an excavation initiated by Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in collaboration with the Vietnam Institute of Archeology.

The excavation, which has covered an area of some 800 square meters so far, was launched for archeologists to seek for relics and learn more about Thang Long Imperial Citadel before works begins on a beltway.

The first trace of the citadel was first discovered in late 2002 during excavation work for a new National Assembly building on Hoang Dieu Street.

It was part of a citadel system built in the 11th century that included the Dai La Citadel, which acted as a defensive rampart with a complete dyke system; and the Forbidden City, where the king and his royal family lived.

Since its excavation, scientists have unearthed vestiges from the Ly, Tran, Le and Nguyen dynasties that date back as far as the seventh century. They have also found many objects from the period between the 7th and 9th centuries, when Chinese colonizers ruled Vietnam.

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