The Vietnam Archaeology Centre under the Southern Institute of Social Sciences and the historical relic management board of the central province of Binh Dinh have announced the results of an excavation at the province’s Hoang De (Emperor) Citadel.

From July to September this year, the excavation was conducted over an area of 500 square metres, mostly in the east end of the citadel, where many works in a project to build a temple for Emperor Thai Duc (reigning from 1778 to 1788) will be built.

The emperor, real name Nguyen Nhac, and his brothers were the founders of the Tay Son dynasty (1778 – 1802). The emperor was the one who ordered the building of the Hoang De Citadel.

Excavators found a number of cultural vestiges in the dig. The bottom layer contains pieces of pottery from the Champa civilisation (192 – 1832). It is topped by pieces from the Tay Son and Nguyen dynasties (1802 – 1945), such as tiles and household pottery.

Some of the finds were made in Chu Dau, a village well-known for making pottery in the northern province of Hai Duong, others were from China.

Some of the imported pottery is of high quality, following the styles of China’s Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). Others are believed to be produced in the south of China.

However, only a few traces from the Tay Son and Nguyen dynasties remain since the site may be located near the former Forbidden City, which witnessed an array of historical events between the two dynasties, thus causing the loss of many vestiges, experts said.

A rectangular architectural work made from the same materials used to build a semicircle pond in the Forbidden City was also unearthed, and is believed to date back to the Tay Son dynasty.

Based on the results, archaeologists proposed future excavations to be conducted at areas with concentrations of cultural vestiges from the Champa civilisation.

They also suggested a space for displaying discovered antiquities at the new temple to honour and popularise the site’s cultural and historical values.-VNA