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Cat Tien diggings reveal trade secrets

Archaeologists have uncovered artefacts in Cat Tien, in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Lam Dong, which reveal new information about the trade history between Viet Nam and countries as distant as the Middle East.

The site’s discoveries, announced at a seminar in Da Lat, include a statue depicting a victory deity standing on the back of a buffalo, a silver box carved with a reclining lion, jewellery and lingas.

Professor Cao Xuan Pho from the Southeast Asia Research Institute said he was surprised by what was discovered at the Cat Tien archaeological site, particularly the statue and the wide variety of lingas that reflect different cultures.

The Cat Tien site was located on the network of East-West trade exchange that developed rapidly during the third and fourth centuries, said Dr Bui Chi Hoang from the HCM City Archaeology Centre.

Hoang added that his hypothesis concerning the significance of the Cat Tien site was based on the discovery of a Persian silver box and other artefacts representing the cultures of Iran and India.

The Viet Nam Archaeology Institute and the HCM City Archaeology Centre have uncovered many architectural designs and artefacts of great ethnological and archaeological value since excavations began in 1994.

VNS - (11/05/2004)

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