A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Vietnamese Imperial Citadel Excavated

Monday, December 16, 2013


Thang-Long-CitadelHANOI, VIETNAM—Archaeologists say that to truly understand Thang Long, the 11th-century Vietnamese Imperial Citadel, they will need to excavate at the site for decades. "We are touching an elephant and do not know its whole body," said Tong Trung Tin, director of Viet Nam Archaeology Institute. "The area that has been excavated is too small to explain the entire old royal capital." Thang Long was built by the Ly Dynasty in the 11th century on the site of an earlier, 8th-century citadel. The complex's central Kinh Thien Palace, built in 1428, was destroyed by the French in the late 19th century. There are proposals to rebuild the palace, but archaeologists caution that more excavations need to be done before the site can be accurately reconstructed.