The Đào Thịnh Jar (LSb.32967)
Diameter of the mouth: 61cm
Diameter of the base: 60cm
Đông Sơn culture. Circa 2500 – 2000 BCEN
Recognizing Decision 01426/QĐ-TTg on the 1st October 2012 by the Prime Minister of Vietnam
Discovered in Đào Thịnh village, Trấn Yên district, Yên Bái province in 1961
Đào Thịnh jar
The Đào Thịnh jar is one of the largest bronze jars with diversified and distinctive decorations discovered in Vietnam so far. Its main function is a container of food/seeds. However, when it was excavated, its inside contained ashes and the deceased’s bones with funerary items, which proved that the Đào Thịnh jar was also used as a coffin.
The jar is cylindrical shaped and tapering to the bottom. Its cover is truncated cone-shaped and designed a central relief 12-ray sun, surrounded by 11 circular pattern bands, and specially decorated with 4 unique figurines of intercourse couples. The men are hair untied, carrying daggers at their hips and wearing loincloths. The women wear short skirts. Such intercourse couple figurines with the male genitals clearly shown are purposefully placed on the jar’s cover, signifying the ancient Đông Sơn people’s wishes on fertility and prosperity for plants, humans and all living beings. The jar’s body is decorated with 25 bands of pattern motifs of serrated shape, tangent circles, the Lạc birds... In the middle pattern band of the jar body, there are decorative motifs of 6 warboats carrying warriors with different weapons in their hands such as bows, javelins, spears, battle axes…, which conspicuously shows the boat building technique as well as military development of the ancient Vietnamese people.
The Đào Thịnh jar is regarded as one of typical unique artworks. In particular, the decorative patterns, symbolic meanings and multifunction of the jar not only clearly show the precious information of the past about the tradition of national construction and defence, but also reflect various aspects of the material and spiritual life of the ancient Vietnamese people.