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Bảo tàng lịch sử Quốc gia

Vietnam National Museum of History

17/04/2009 11:09 2876
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The culture of Dong Son was first discovered in 1924 at the river Ma side, in the commune of Dong Son, huyen of Dong Son (now districi of Ham Rong, Thanh Hoa city). In this very place was first discovered the collection of vestiges of the age of metals in Vietnam. Since then, the culture of Dong Son has been studied and explored many times, chiefly in the three big rivers of north Vietnam, it is the centres of Red River, of River Ma and of River Ca. At these three centers, the archaeologists have found the successive stages of cultural development to arrive at last at the summit which is the culture of Dong Son. Besides the principal lines of development, including the three centers of Dong Son of the three rivers, the culture of Dong Son comprises also other elements showing the cultural background of different regions and giving to the collection various features: sea – mountains – middle region and plain. After 85 years of study and exploration, Dong Son has affirmed its internal strength of development, and also contributions from other cultures, as well as its own contributions to other cultures of continental and insular South-east Asia.
The culture of Dong Son was first discovered in 1924 at the river Ma side, in the commune of Dong Son, huyen of Dong Son (now districi of Ham Rong, Thanh Hoa city). In this very place was first discovered the collection of vestiges of the age of metals in Vietnam. Since then, the culture of Dong Son has been studied and explored many times, chiefly in the three big rivers of north Vietnam, it is the centres of Red River, of River Ma and of River Ca. At these three centers, the archaeologists have found the successive stages of cultural development to arrive at last at the summit which is the culture of Dong Son. Besides the principal lines of development, including the three centers of Dong Son of the three rivers, the culture of Dong Son comprises also other elements showing the cultural background of different regions and giving to the collection various features: sea – mountains – middle region and plain. After 85 years of study and exploration, Dong Son has affirmed its internal strength of development, and also contributions from other cultures, as well as its own contributions to other cultures of continental and insular South-east Asia.

One can affirm that the culture of Dong Son is the bright summit of the ancient Viets, and it is the core of the state of Au Lac, an early state of south-east Asia.

The collection of vestiges of the culture de Dong Son is the live reflection of the social life of the ancient Viets, with a plentiful set of refined ornaments, a set of characteristic musical instruments and a diversified spiritual life, proof of a high level of civilization of the ancient Viets. Through the collections of vestiges found in the sites of Dong son, through the ancient tombs of this time, one can see that the economic structure, the social organization, the spiritual and psychic life of the masters of Dong Son, have reached a level of development of a state having a rather high level of division in classes.

The results of 85 years of study of the culture of Dong Son are very important. However, the secrets of Dong Son are still very rich and attractive. Many problems on Dong Son remain unresolved and need to be studied and explored.

That is why the National Museum of Vietnamese History is one of the organizations studying the culture of Dong Son, having the function of exhibiting objects of ancient cultures and constantly willing to present new collections to the public of the country and abroad, in particular the collection of the culture of Dong Son.

In 2004, in occasion of the 80th anniversery of the discovery and study of the culture of Dong Son, the Museum has, in coordination with the museums of the country, organized the exhibition of the three big centers of the culture of Dong Son in North Vietnam, with collections selected from Lao Cai to Nghe An, presenting unforeseen things to researchers and visitors of the country and abroad.

In, 2009, in occasion of the 85th anniversary of the discovery and study of the culture of Dong Son, of the total liberation of South Vietnam 30/4 and of the Labour International Day 1/5, the National Museum of Vietnamese History organizes an exhibition on the culture of Dong Son under the title of “Echo of Dong Son – newly discovered objects in 2004 – 2009”.
The exhibition hall presents more than 100 objects, selected among newly collections gathered by the National Museum of Vietnamese History since the exhibition of 2004, mainly bronze objects, ceramics, carrying classical features of Dong son and comprising many new things, which was never seen so far in the collections of the culture of Dong Son of the country and abroad. They are lampadaries in form of man, of stag, of ox, of elephant, reflecting old believes of the center of Dong son of the River Ca with the famous site of Lang Vac. They are bronze drums decorated with images of men drawing boats, drums with strange forms and decorations, never seen in the set of bronze drums discovered in the High-Lands, proof of the power of propagation of Dong Son and of the unity in the diversification of this culture on the territory of Vietnam and even farther. They are bronze jars with pedestal pierced with holes, man-shaped daggers, lampadaries in form of vase, both familiar and queer, consequence of the continuous progress in the study of the vestiges of Dong Son. They are instruments of production, arms, rather typical ornaments of the culture of Dong Son of the North mixed with vestiges of Dong Son of the South, bringing a new view on the culture of Dong son which little people so far have seen. The exhibition presents also a remarkable collection of ceramics showing the mutual influence between Dong son and Sa Huynh – a famous culture of Center Vietnam, equivalent to that of Dong Son. This year is also the centenary of the discovery and study of the culture of Sa Huynh.

The Echo of Dong Son is also obvious through the collection of objects from the first centuries of the era: drums, basins, bronze bells, vase with lid… with elements intermediary between the local culture and the foreign culture, obvious on each object.

We hope that the exhibition will bring to visiteurs new impressions on the culture of Dong Son. It is in the same time a message to managers and to researchers, inciting them to begin a new stage in the study of the culture of Dong Son, on a new level.

The organizers
National museum of Vietnamese History

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DISCOVERY OF THE ANCIENT TOMB OF DUC TU II

  • 02/04/2009 09:55
  • 1998

In the middle of February 2009, during the construction of the hygienic complexe of the college of Duc Tu (commune of Duc Tu, huyen of Dong Anh, Hanoi), the workers of construction have discovered rows of bricks, disposed in arch. Special decorations are found on a side of these bricks. Thinking that these are ”singular” signs of perhaps an ancient vestige, the Direction of the Project of construction of the college has reported the news of the discovery to local authorities to give the alarm to responsible services.