find ancient musical instruments
thought to be about 3,000 years old have been found by a team of Vietnamese
Known as lithophones, the
ancient instruments are typically made of 11 slabs of stone.
The lithophones were found
in the southern province of Binh Duong in early January at a site that stretches
some 20ha near a small hill in My Loc village in Tan My Commune of Tan Uyen
The broken instruments
were buried deep in an 8sq.m pit, said Dr Bui Chi Hoang, deputy director of the
Archaeology Centre of the Southern Institute for Social and Human Sciences.
Hoang said the first
discovery of ancient lithophones took place at an archeaological dig in Binh Da
Village in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
"This finding marks a
milestone in the long history of traditional musical instruments in the
country," he said.
In 1949, lithophones were
also found by French ethnologist Georges Condominas in N’Dut Lieng Krac
Village of the Central Highlands province of Dac Lac. The instrument was
exhibited in Paris a year later.
Hoang said an ancient
Vietnamese lithophone is also housed in a museum in Los Angeles.
Ancient lithophones have
been found in Loc Tan (Binh Phuoc Province) and Di Linh (Lam Dong Province) as
Prof Le Xuan Diem, of the
Southern Institute of Social and Human Sciences, said the instrument was
previously believed to be a musical instrument of the people in the Central
discoveries have shown that lithophones were also used in ancient villages along
Dong Nai River."
The My Loc archeological
site was jointly excavated by the Archeology Centre and Binh Duong Museum under
a programme conducted by the Binh Duong Department for Sciences and Technology
from December 6 last year to January 12.
In addition to ancient
lithophones, archeologists found hundreds of pieces of stone tools such as axes,
hoes, graters, and porcelain wares, including pots, jars and bowls.
These remains have helped
archeologists date the site to 3,000 to 3,500 years ago.
The discovery also sheds
light on the history of the eastern section of the South Viet Nam and Binh Duong
Province. — VNS