Duong Xa archaeological site located in Duong Dinh village, Duong Xa commune, Gia Lam district, Hanoi City, Vietnam. This site was discovered accidentally in the 1980s. During construction and land planning, local people discovered some brick tombs and Dong Son style bronze and ceramic wares.
Panorama of Duong Xa archaeological sites
In April 1987, Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hanoi collaborated with Vietnam Archaeological Institute had excavated this site on an area of 30m2. The excavation revealed that Duong Xa was an inhabitant site and grave site, in 30,000 m2, it had a thick cultural layer and quite stable, and was divided into two stratums (layers): Go Mun culture in the lower stratum and Dong Son culture in the upper one, and without sterile layer. Duong Xa citizens in the old day had done many kinds of jobs, in particular the ceramic handicraft, bronze casting and fishing.
In January 1998, an excavation on Duong Xa was made by Vietnam Archaeological Institute. The result said Duong Xa was an inhabitant site with 1 cultural stratum which was divided into 2 continuous layers, without sterile layer. The lower part was the inhabitance of Go Mun citizens, the upper part was of Dong Son citizens and the grave of Dong Son citizens. In the hole surveyed, there was no found of bronze wares, but found few stone wares and a big quantity of ceramics (in broken pieces). The progress of ceramics quite matched with the cultural layer classification. From layer I to layer III: prominent by Dong Son ceramics, especially Duong Co style ceramics.
In December 2008, a group of probationers of History Department, Hanoi University of Social Science and Humanities had excavated Duong Xa site on an area of 50m2. The cultural stratum included the black-grey soil layer, the brown-grey soil layer and the light yellow soil layer. Among these, the black-grey soil layer was the thickest one and separated from the brown-grey soil layer by a light yellow soil band. Through the objects secured in the layers, we knew that the black-grey soil layer was associated to Dong Son culture, and the brown-grey soil layer was associated to Go Mun culture.
Based on the remnants and soil analysis, the excavators agreed with Ph.D Lai Van Toi that the Duong Xa archaeological site is associated to the period of late Go Mun culture and changing to Dong Son culture.
The stratigraphic process in the hole excavated in 2008
Based on the objects and remnants, the hypothesis seems clearer. The arrow-heads and spear-heads found here are common objects in other Go Mun and Dong Son sites.
Some remnants found in 2008 excavation
In conclusion, Duong Xa was a prominent archaeological site of the period changing from Go Mun to Dong Son culture. Despite the fact that the cultural layer of Dong Son period was leveled much, the thickness of the site was still over 1m and enriched with Go Mun and Dong Son cultural factors. The study on Duong Xa archaeological site has contributed to understand the development progress of the pre-Dong Son - Dong Son culture period in the Red Delta region. At the moment, this cultural stratum is still potential for further excavations, thus, we need more surveys and digs to find out about this important archaeological site.
Chu Mạnh Quyền
EN: Tran Trang