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Bảo tàng lịch sử Quốc gia

Vietnam National Museum of History

12/08/2015 21:11 2586
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The relic of Duc Son brick tomb located in Duc Son village, Yen Duc commune, Dong Trieu district, Quang Ninh province. It is 20km far away Dong Trieu town and 18km from the Mao Khe tomb to the southeast.

Duc Son village is surrounded by Phuong Hoang mountain to the north and by Da Vach river (Kinh Thay) to the south. Quang Ninh province and Dong Trieu district in particular, is the place where hold quite a lot of brick tombs in the first 10 centuries AD.

Status of Duc Son tomb

Excavation site in September 2011

Arch entrance to the pre-vaulted chamber

Brick floor in mid-vaulted chamber

Tomb's roof in the mid-vaulted chamber

The tomb was discovered by early 2011 through a construction made by local people. The Vietnam National Museum of History carried an excavation in September of that year. The tomb located 300m from the Phuong Hoang rock mountain. The tomb mould is nearly 2,5m high, with diameter of 14-15m. It had been dug on the top and could be penetrated from outside.

The underground tomb has the arch roof, extended to the north-south direction, with the entrance facing south, and comprising 3 vaulted chambers separated and connected to each other by pillar spans. The floor was constructed by rectangular bricks.

The pre-vaulted chamber is 1,27m long, 1,7m wide and 1,92m high. The arch entrance has two layers of bricks at 1,68m height and 1,2m width. The mid-vaulted chamber is 1,8m long, 3,65m wide, and 3,71m high. The roof of the mid-vaulted chamber is the most excellent part of the tomb. The floor was constructed with 49 rectangular bricks arranged to the horizontal lines. There are two subordinate chambers next to the mid-chamber. They have same size: 0,92m long, 1,02m wide and 0,86m high. Certainly, the mid-vaulted chamber is the most wonderful and complicated one in whole structure.

The post-vaulted chamber is 4,25m long, 2,06m wide and 2,4m high. Caskets could be placed there but we did not find any remains of them. The post was heavily dug and filled by soil flooded from outside. When excavating, we found a brick pedestal in a rectangular shape, in 2,52m length, 0,75m width and remaining 0,21m height. This pedestal was placed askew to the west. By this size and location, it is possible that this pedestal was used for keeping the casket. Also, a subordinate chamber is connected to the post-chamber. It is 1m long, 0,7m wide and 0,56m high. It could be a store of grave goods but no objects found.

Subordinate chambers connecting to the mid-vaulted chamber

Casket pedestal in the post-vaulted chamber

Outside post-vaulted chamber

Layout of tomb structure

Side layout of tomb structure

The layout of the structure of the tomb has a cross shape (+). The width of the pre-chamber is as same as the post-chamber's. The subordinate chamber located in the right of the post-chamber and the askew pedestal can help to define the gender of the owner.

The structure and type of bricks show that this tomb can date to the 1st -3rd century AD. The owner of the tomb can be Han or Viet assimilating to Han culture.

The askew pedestal of casket to the west (right) and the space to the east (left) which is enough for another casket reveal a fact that this tomb was built for a couple. According to the Oriental tradition of "left for men, right for women", it is possible that the casket in the tomb was used for a woman.

Chu Manh Quyen (Research and Collection Dept)

EN: Tran Trang