That conclusion was made at a scientific conference entitled Reports on Preliminary Results of Kính Thiên Palace Excavation in 2016, jointly organised by Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Preservation Centre and Vietnam Institute of Archaeology yesterday. The event drew the participation of many representative of Hà Nội’s authority, representatives of relevant organisations and renowned scientists.
Taking place from January to December this year, the excavation was conducted by Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Preservation Centre and Vietnam Institute of Archaeology on a total area of nearly 1,000 sq.m in the main area of Kính Thiên Palace.
According to archeological associate professor Tống Trung Tín, successive cultural layers of approximately 4-metre depth that expanded in over ten centuries, from the 8th-9th century to 19th-20th century, have been clarified.
Continuing the results of the excavations in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, the excavation of this year has also clarified the architecture southwest of the main area of Kính Thiên Palace, including the general court, surrounding walls, corridor that dated back to the later Lê dynasty early period and later Lê dynasty warlord period in the 15th to 18th century.
Especially, a part of the architectural space of the Lý Dynasty (1009-1225) and more pillar foundations have been unearthed.
“The highlight of the excavation is the vestiges of the large-scale water systems, contributing to the study of Lý Dynasty’s planning in the centre of the royal city,” Tín says.
According to professor Phan Huy Lê, chairman of Vietnam Association of History and Science, the results have paited a clearer picture of Kính Thiên Palace’s space.
“The later Lê dynasty warlord period has proved to have been prosperous, especially in the 17th century. Besides, proof of international trade is the new foundation of this excavation that influenced the whole context of the country at that time. At the same time, the minimum scale of ancient Đại La Citadel has been made clear,” Lê says.
The professor also suggests new targets for the excavation in the area for the upcoming years, including digitising the relics to compile scientific dossiers, connecting the results of the excavations and regularly promoting the values of Thăng Long Royal Citadel so that more visitors can learn about Việt Nam’s world heritage.
The excavated area will be open for public visit this upcoming Lunar New Year.
Kính Thiên Palace is the most important building in the Thăng Long Royal citadel, which was recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2000. It sits in the centre of the complex, facing Đoan Môn (south gate) and Flag Tower. — VNS