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1,000-Year-Old Pagoda Foundation Uncovered in Vietnam

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

THANH HOA, VIETNAM—According to a Vietnam News Agency report, four layers of pagoda foundations have been uncovered on Xuan Dai Mountain, which is located in Vietnam’s north central coast region. The earliest construction is thought to date to the tenth century A.D. Pillars and tiles dating to the Tran Dynasty (1225–1400), glazed ceramic tiles from the Late Le Dynasty (1428–1527), and intricately carved pillars and metal nails from the Le Trung Hung Dynasty (1533–1789) were also found. Nguyen Duc Binh of the Vietnam Archaeology Institute said the pagoda was eventually dedicated to Princess Du Anh, daughter of King Tran Nghe Tong, who was successfully treated with herbs for an illness at the pagoda in the late fourteenth century. She is thought to have managed renovations of the building, including the additions of statues and a bell to the structure, which was then named for her. “As the excavation site is small, we still cannot see the whole scale of the structures,” Binh said. “The site needs to be further excavated in order to gather enough evidence and information for future preservation.” For more on archaeology in Southeast Asia, go to “Letter from Cambodia: Storied Landscape.”

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