Mysterious fossilized tooth remains family treasure in southern Vietnam

By Phuoc Hiep, Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Thi Hoai Diem, 60, poses with the mysterious fossil at her house in the southern province of Binh Phuoc. Photo: Phuoc Hiep Nguyen Thi Hoai Diem, 60, poses with the mysterious fossil at her house in the southern province of Binh Phuoc. Photo: Phuoc Hiep

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A family in Binh Phuoc Province owns what appears to be a large fossilized tooth that has remained unidentified by archaeologists for ages.
Nguyen Thi Hoai Diem, 60, the owner of a phone shop in Bu Gia Map District’s Phu Rieng Commune, said her father-in-law gave her the object, decades ago.
“My father-in-law, Vo Van Mung, bought it from an ethnic man. This man said he'd found it in a cave while hunting in the forest,” she said.
Diem said the object had brought him good luck..
“Believing it to be some sort of blessing, he put it on an altar to worship as a guardian angel,” she said.
Mung offered Diem and her husband two hectares of land, but she asked for the fossil instead.

The tooth-like fossil. Photo: Phuoc Hiep 
The object measures 27cm long, 17cm wide and 8cm thick.
In 1990, Diem took a picture of the “tooth” and its wavy, layered patterns and brought it to archeologists in Ho Chi Minh City.
“They confirmed that it’s not a mammoth tooth but couldn't tell me what it is,” she said, adding that she also asked other archeologists but got the same answer.
In 1995, her relative abroad asked her to send it to the US for identification but she refused to do so, fearing it would be lost.
 

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