Time capsule

Update: June, 21/2012 - 09:03


Scatalogical: Experts excavate the site of an ancient toilet at Rach Nui in Long An Province. — VNS Photo Trung Kien
LONG AN — A team of Australian and Vietnamese archaeologists discovered a 3,500 year old man-made toilet believed to be the earliest such device in southern Viet Nam.

The toilet was excavated about 30km from HCM City at Rach Nui, Long An Province. It consists of a 5m in height man-made mound, surrounded by small tidal streams and mangrove swamps.

The team is made up of Vietnamese experts from the HCM City's Archaeology Centre and those from the Australian National University.

Archaeologist Marc Oxenham, from the Australian institution, told Radio Australia that human and dog waste had been perfectly preserved at Rach Nui, providing valuable insights into the diets of local people at the time.

"We uncovered broken fish bones and preserved vegetable matter," he confirmed.

Nguyen Khanh Trung Kien, deputy director of the HCM City centre, said the team also found evidence of ancient buildings in the area.

"We discovered foundat-ional structures built 3,500 to 4000 years ago," he said.

The team found additional treasures during their nine-week dig that began on May 25, including ceramic and bone artefacts as well as small chisels made from turtle shell.

"It has been established that the Rach Nui site dates back 3,500 years and has a cultural layer of 500," Kien told Viet Nam News.

"Dog and human waste samples were sent to the Australian National University for analysis and we are awaiting the results. An enormous amount of work still lies ahead in understanding how people in the area went about their daily business," he added. — VNS