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VietNamNews

Underwater treasures tell stories about the past

Update: October, 04/2015 - 12:00

Archaeologists are people who study and know a lot about how people lived long ago.

They like digging up old ruins to find things that help them understand old ways of life.

The latest place they are going digging is underwater.

Archaeologists say there are all sorts of hidden treasures in riverbeds.

Priceless treasures: Items which have been uncovered by researcher Ho Tan Phan, found in the Huong River bed in Hue.
Priceless treasures: Items which have been uncovered by researcher Ho Tan Phan, found in the Huong River bed in Hue. - VNS Photo Phuoc Buu

THUA THIEN–HUE (VNS) — The country's leading archaeologists met over the weekend during a 3-day conference held in Hue City, which included announcements describing new archaeological discoveries.

Additionally, this year's annual event, chaired by the Viet Nam Archaeology Institute, introduced a new branch in the study of archaeology – underwater archaeology.

During the meeting, from September 17-19, participants heard about 356 archaeological findings unearthed around the country.

Further, there were 51 announcements about new stone age findings, including the discovery of human bones at Hang Oc archaeological site, dating back 6,000 to 7,000 years, located in Thai Nguyen.

Also, metal age archaeology had 59 new findings, presenting new discoveries that enriched the knowledge of the nation's history and the cultures of communities, including Dien Bien, Phu Tho and Ha Noi in the north; Ha Tinh, Quang Nam and Khanh Hoa in the central region; and Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc and Long An in the south.

Historical archaeology saw the most achievements during the year, with 180 new findings. Archaeological work at the Luy Lau ancient citadel in Bac Ninh Province, the Ho Citadel in Thanh Hoa Province, and at the Ha Noi-based Thang Long Citadel have revealed new information about the feudal history of different monarchies.

Meanwhile, work at Chu Dau sites in Hai Duong Province, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Bac Giang Province and Da Tuong Temple in Quang Ngai Province have increased the general knowledge about crafts and religions of the Vietnamese people.

"The work has been done scientifically and gives valuable significance to the profiling of heritages around the country," said Associate Professor Bui Van Liem, deputy director of the institute.

Of note, for the first time underwater archaeology was presented at the meetings, with eight announcements about findings, including excavations underwater in Cu Lao Cham islet in Quang Nam Province and at Thuan An Beach in Thua Thien-Hue Province.

Yet some at the meeting said there was less focus and a lack of information from underwater archaeologists.

Researcher Ho Tan Phan, who owns a complete set of items found in riverbeds that reflect the nation's history from prehistoric times, told Viet Nam News that he had expected the conference to present more.

"Underwater archaeology has greater importance than underground excavations, since each underground site could tell about only one or two layers of history, while underwater archaeology presents all of our history, so it should be emphasised more," he said.

"Furthermore, seawater excavations do not tell much about the nation's history, since the seas primarily carried foreign trade. River excavations, however, are the key, as items with rich information about the country are available in the riverbeds."

The researcher, based in the former royal capital city of Hue, expected that archaeology would do more to exploit the underwater sector, after being neglected for 40 years. — VNS

GLOSSARY

The country's leading archaeologists met over the weekend during a 3-day conference held in Hue City, which included announcements describing new archaeological discoveries.

Archaeologists are people who study and know a lot about how people lived in ancient times. They often dig into the ground to find things from days gone by that help give them an idea of how life was for people back then.

Additionally, this year's annual event, chaired by the Viet Nam Archaeology Institute, introduced a new branch in the study of archaeology – underwater archaeology.

An annual event is an event that happens every year.

During the meeting, from September 17-19, participants heard about 356 archaeological findings unearthed around the country.

When archaeologists unearth things, they dig them up from underground.

Further, there were 51 announcements about new stone age findings, including the discovery of human bones at Hang Oc archaeological site, dating back 6,000 to 7,000 years, located in Thai Nguyen.

The stone age was the time when people made their tools from stone.

Also, metal age archaeology had 59 new findings, presenting new discoveries that enriched the knowledge of the nation's history and the cultures of communities, including Dien Bien, Phu Tho and Ha Noi in the north; Ha Tinh, Quang Nam and Khanh Hoa in the central region; and Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc and Long An in the south.

The metal age was the time when people made their tools from metal. It made it possible for them to have axes to chop down trees and spears with which to kill animals and fight their enemies.

Historical archaeology saw the most achievements during the year, with 180 new findings. Archaeological work at the Luy Lau ancient citadel in Bac Ninh Province, the Ho Citadel in Thanh Hoa Province, and at the Ha Noi-based Thang Long Citadel have revealed new information about the feudal history of different monarchies.

Feudal history means history in the time when the most powerless of people worked the land for powerful people who provided them with protection.

Monarchies are governments ruled by royals, such as kings and queens, or emperors.

The work has been done scientifically and gives valuable significance to the profiling of heritages around the country," said Associate Professor Bui Van Liem, deputy director of the institute.

Heritages are special things from the past that people value and believe are part of what makes them who they are. Profiling different heritages means writing about them to explain what they are.

Of note, for the first time underwater archaeology was presented at the meetings, with eight announcements about findings, including excavations underwater in Cu Lao Cham islet in Quang Nam Province and at Thuan An Beach in Thua Thien-Hue Province.

Excavations are diggings.

An islet is a very small island.

Researcher Ho Tan Phan, who owns a complete set of items found in riverbeds that reflect the nation's history from prehistoric times, told Viet Nam News that he had expected the conference to present more.

Prehistoric means before the times when people wrote about what was happening.

The researcher, based in the former royal capital city of Hue, expected that archaeology would do more to exploit the underwater sector, after being neglected for 40 years.

To exploit means to get the most out of something.

When something is neglected it is ignored and not cared for.

WORKSHEET

 

See if you can find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

1.      A type of ancient building one would find in Bac Ninh Province, in Thanh Hoa Province and in Ha Noi.

2.      A former royal capital city.

3.      A word that means a digging.

4.      The type of bones found at an archaeological site in Thai Nguyen.

5.      A very small island, like Cu Lao Cham.

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© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015








































 1. Citadel; 2. Hue; 3. Excavation; 4.  Human; 5. Islet.

 

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