Wednesday, October 26 2016


Oc Eo culture in the spotlight

Update: January, 18/2016 - 08:06

Long forgotten: Ancient artefacts of Oc Eo culture are on display at the An Giang Museum in An Giang province. — Photo

AN GIANG (VNS) — Speeches were delivered at a recent workshop held in the southern province of An Giang, in a bid to create a new vision about the Oc Eo culture.

Flourishing between the first and the seventh century, Phu Nam Kingdom covered a large area of the southern plain and hosted the Oc Eo culture in An Giang Province. After remaining fogotten and buried for thousands of years, traces of Oc Eo culture were discovered in Ba The-Oc Eo area in An Giang.

In 1944, French archaeologist Louis Malleret carried out excavations at the site, along with his colleagues from the French School of the Far East. They discovered objects offering proof of a flourishing civilisation and well-developed trade with other areas in Southeast Asia.

The civilisation produced many handicrafts, including ceramics, as well as the ability to refine copper, iron and tin, along with creating silver and gold jewellery. Statues were also unearthed.

Prof Vo Van Sen, headmaster of HCM City Social Sciences and Humanity University, confirmed that Oc Eo culture is one of three influential cultures, along with Dong Son (700BC-AD100) and Sa Huynh (1,000-200BC), to have had an impact upon Viet Nam and other countries.

"Oc Eo culture formed and developed in the southern region with various geo-ecologies," he said. "Its economy was based upon hunting animals and harvesting leaves and fruits, planting water rice, and the sea trade."

Prof Ngo Van Le, also from HCM City Social Sciences and Humanity University, said it is important to learn how to take advantage of the ancient culture's values to aid in the wise transition during today's development.

"It's necessary to exploit traditional cultural values for tourism," he noted.

"The culture involved multi-ethnic features, local nature and terrain conditions of An Giang, as well as the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta, which is favourable for developing tourism and turning tourism into a key economic sector of the region," he stressed.

Nguyen Thanh Binh, vice chairman of An Giang's People's Committee, said the Prime Minister has listed the Oc Eo-Ba The archaeological site among the nation's Special National Relic Sites, as part of the province's development of its tourism industry and in the building of new tourism attractions at the site.

"In a few years time, the province will sponsor more excavations and increasingly promote the site to the Vietnamese people throughout the country," he said. — VNS

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