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Ancient bronze drum unearthed

Update: January, 26/2016 - 16:25
An ancient bronze drum has been discovered in the northern province of Dien Bien. — Photo VNA Chu Quoc Hung

DIEN BIEN (VNS) — A 2,000-year-old bronze drum was discovered by a farmer in Nua Ngam Commune in the northern province of Dien Bien on January 21.

According to the initial investigation of the researchers from Dien Bien museum, the ancient drum weighs about 20kg and stands 49cm high. Its surface remains almost intact with a diameter of 61cm.

On the surface of the drum are four toad statues in the four corners and a 12-sided star in the centre, which might either represent 12 months of the year or a time measure by the ancient people. Many other designs like kapok or Lac birds are also found on its surface.

Trinh Thi Mai, the director of the museum, said the ancient drum belongs to Heger tye 3 fabricated by the Karen people in the northeast of Myanmar. However, its precise origin and age of the bronze need further study of its cultural and historical values of the object.

While its surface is round, its bottom has an ellipse shape, making it different from other bronze drums that have been unearthed before. According to experts, this unusual shape of the drum requires a thorough study to determine if it is original or caused by natural reasons.

Under the approval of the local authorities, the ancient drum is being preserved in Dien Bien Museum while its cultural and historical values are clarified. A document about the drum will be compiled in a report to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports. — VNS


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