Following the initial findings on the ancient architectural ruins at Pu Chia Chua hill and Pu Tre hill (Yen Bai province), Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has issued the Decision no. 2408/QĐ - BVHTTDL to allow Yen Bai Museum to study and excavate the Pu Tre relic.
The Pu Tre architectural relic locates in O village, Phu Nham commune, Van Chan district, Yen Bai province, inside the Muong Lo rice field and Thia canal, 1000m high Bu and Dong mountains to the east, 13km far from Van Chan downtown to the north, and 3km far from Nghia Lo town to the south.
Prior to 1974, through the agricultural cultivation, people had found some green stone column bases and brought home for uses. Since 1990, it was found again, when people got the right to use the land from government but it had been already in severe damage conditions.
After clearing the trees covering the land surfaces, the site was found in a considerable flat area in two layers. The upper layer (the 1st level) was 0,60m, higher than the lower one, and in an area of 300m2. The secondary layer was extended in an area of 1.300m2. Boundary of the layers was found to be pebble stones. Through 16 digging holes, they found:
- The soil structure of Pu Tre hill tended to be sloping from the central to outwards, from east to west, north to south. The holes were dug in 0,30m - 0,80m depth, dark yellow basalt. The materials and architectural traces were found belonged to Tran dynasty including reinforced foundations, column base stone…all were found at the secondary layer, at 0,9m depth and 0,5m thickness.
Pebble stones and architectural traces
- It found at least 3 blocks connected to each other to make an U shape building. Considering the column stone base and foundation, it could have been a central architectural building. The foundation bound was quite long; it was 42,9m to the south direction and 35,1m to the north direction, composing of bricks (typical style of bricks under Tran dynasty), pebble stones and soils.
In particular, many column bases of pebble stones were found inside the foundation bounds, in a distance of 3,9m. Based on the distributing rule of column bases, it has been said that the master plan of this architectural building was very big, especially for those located in east, north and south directions.
The Northern foundation bound
In the 1st layer, we could not found much due to the land was being used for the plant of tea at that moment. However, 5 green stone column bases of different size, some pieces of pebble stone foundation and ceramic and terra cotta objects had been discovered there.
- During seeking, some building materials including ridge tiles, column bases made of green stone and sandstone, iron nails (3-6cm), ceramics, terra cotta, porcelain and pebble stones have been secured.
Reinforced Southern bank
Through those findings, can we say that there should have been a big architectural building in Pu Tre hill? Was it in a rectangular, facing West, surrounded by long connecting houses, and the master building was used for worshipping? To answer this question, it needs to have more researches and excavations to clarify the characteristics, date and related issues.
Works on architectural ruins
Through studies, we can see a similarity among building materials found in Pu Tre and in Hac Y relic (Luc Yen, Yen Bai, a Buddhist architectural building under Tran dynasty). Such results have brought important understandings and provided many scientific data for studying of Yen Bai culture and history.
Dr. Nguyễn Văn Đoàn - Deputy Director of VNMH
English: Tran Trang