Archaeologists announce progress in mapping first century citadel hinh anh 1Archaeologists announced that they found broken pieces of bronze cast moulds at the site of Luy Lau citadel (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Archaeologists from the National Museum of History have announced their preliminary report from the latest field excavations at Vietnam's oldest citadel in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

Luy Lau Citadel was the heart of the area for ten centuries beginning in the first century, and is located in modern day Bac Ninh province, 45 minute by car north from Hanoi.

"This year we have found the western border of the citadel, and we can confirm that the inner citadel is located in the centre of the outer citadel, further north," said Nguyen Van Chien, head of the museum's team. The citadel's west-east border measures 180m wide and 110m from north to south, according to the report.

The joint report by the museum, in coordination with Japan's University of East Asia, said that this year's goal for the excavation is to locate the border of the western wall, the northern gate and estimate the overall size of Luy Lau Citadel.

"We have found signs of a river, which has objects we believe are dated from 100 BC to the 1st century," said Professor Huang Xiaofen, head of the Japanese team. She added that the river could be the outer water border of the citadel and, as a result, one corner of the citadel might then be determined.

"The purpose of this year's excavation was to define the western wall of the citadel, the northern gate, and work more on the site where broken pieces of the bronze cast moulds were found," she said.

Speaking at a recent meeting, Dr Ngo ThePhong, one of Vietnam's leading archaeologists said, "More than ten years ago, the first broken piece of bronze cast mould was found by Japanese archaeologist Nishimura.

"Now the team has found hundreds of such pieces, which helps confirm that there could be a large bronze casting centre at Luy Lau."

"There were nearly one thousand broken pieces of outer and inner molds of bronze drums, as well as bronze tanks, which suggest that this could have been a big bronze casting centre at the time," Chien said. "The motifs on the molds suggest they were made in the 4th century."

Dr Nguyen Van Doan, Deputy Director of the National Museum of History, said, "We hope, with nearly one thousand pieces of broken bronze moulds, we could reconstruct the moulds to help shine light on the bronze drums."

This is the second of a five-year project conducted by the museum and University of East Asia, where Japanese and Vietnamese researchers carried out joint excavations and issued research reports.-VNA