Two holes dug up in Ly Son island to seek evidence of the existence of Sa Huynh Culture (Photo courtesy Doan Ngoc Khoi)
 
Quang Ngai (VNS/VNA) - Archaeologists from Quang Ngai Museum and the Archaeology Institute have found six ancient tombs and jewellery dating back about 2,000 years.

The excavation at the Chinh stream on Ly Son Island, 30km off mainland Quang Ngai province, uncovered tombs believed to belong to Sa Huynh culture communities between the first and second century AD.

Doan Ngoc Khoi, Deputy Director of the Quang Ngai provincial Museum, said the excavation last month was seen as preparation for a larger excavation in 2019, and the digging covered only 10sq.m.
He said these tombs contained remains of children, glass beads, earrings and necklaces made from seashells.

 “It’s more evidence that the community of Sa Huynh Culture (2,500 to 3,000 years ago) had lived and existed on the islands a long time ago. They built up a community to inherit culture of Sa Huynh from the mainland,” Khoi said.

He said the first excavation from 2000-05 unearthed axes, chisels, knives and hoes made from stone, bronze and iron.

“We just dug up two holes on the expanded excavation area to ensure it retains antiquities for mass digging next year,” he explained.

The archaeological researcher said the digging will contribute more documents and objects to the process of recognising Ly Son as a Global Geo-Park in the coming years.

“We could strongly confirm that the Sa Huynh culture a long time ago appeared on the island and our ancestors had moved to far islands thousands years ago,” he said, adding the excavation on Ly Son Island once again proved Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands and archipelagos.

According to the Quang Ngai Museum, living quarters in Oc Village and Chinh stream in An Hai commune of the island are two sites with abundant relics and antiquities left from Sa Huynh Culture.

Chinh stream, situated at the foot of Thoi Loi Mountain, was a main freshwater source for Sa Huynh people.

Earlier this year, experts from the Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources also found a unique complex of fossilised coral believed to date from 4,000 to 6,000 years ago on Ly Son Island.

Ly Son Island is a dormant volcano, and the terrain of the island was created from eruptions 25 to 30 million years ago, leaving landscapes with rocks, caves, cliffs and a lake.

The island has abundant relics related to the Sa Huynh, Champa and Dai Viet (or Great Viet) cultures that existed on the island for thousands of years.

Experts from the Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources and archaeologists from the National Heritage Council and Archaeology Institute have been compiling documents to UNESCO for Geo-Park status recognisation of Ly Son Island and a large area above and under the sea and land from Ly Son Island to the districts of Binh Son, Tu Nghia, Nghia Hanh, Mo Duc, Ba To, Son Ha, Tay Tra, and Sa Huynh.

Setsuya Nakada, who is chair of the Advisory Committee of the Global Geo-Park Network, said the central province is an abundant site of heritage values with a mixture of culture and geology diversity, and it could be promoted as a geo-park site.

The island is a tranquil destination with 21,000 inhabitants, most of whom make their living from farming garlic and spring onions and fishing.

Centuries-old houses on the island have been preserved, as has the Am Linh Pagoda, built to worship the souls of sailors who died during long voyages to the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands in the Nguyen dynasty (around the 17th century).

A local museum displays more than 200 ancient documents and 100 exhibits that prove that the Paracel and Spratly belong to Vietnam.-VNS/VNA