The axe- and chisel-shaped moulds discovered in Yen Bai province (Photo: VNA)

Yen Bai (VNA) – Axe- and chisel-shaped moulds made of stone dating back to the Dong Son civilisation (about 2,000 – 3,000 years ago) have been discovered in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai.

The axe-shaped mould is 8.1cm long, 5.1cm wide and 2cm thick, and weighs 120 grammes. Meanwhile, the chisel-shaped one is 11.2cm long, 5.6cm wide and 3.2cm thick, and weighs 360 grammes.

The two stone moulds are being kept at the provincial museum, according to the museum’s Deputy Director Ly Kim Khoa.

He said in early March this year, a farmer found two stone objects with unusual carvings at an eroded section on the Hong (Red) riverbank in Dong An commune, Yen Bai’s Van Yen district. The farmer sent the objects to the museum for examination.

Experts of the museum and the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology initially concluded that the stone items are moulds for casting bronze axes and chisels dating back to the Dong Son civilisation.

The Red River’s section traversing Yen Bai is more than 115km long. Thousands of artefacts dating back to the Dong Son era have been discovered there since the ‘60s of the 20th century due to river bank erosion and agricultural activities. They include bronze jars, bronze drums, farm tools, utensils, weapons and jewellery.

The Dong Son civilisation got its name from Dong Son village on the bank of the Ma River in the central province of Thanh Hoa, where a number of bronze drums were discovered in 1924, marking the first evidence of the civilisation's existence.-VNA