Antiquities Uncovered in Ba Dinh, Hanoi


Parish Watch
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Oct 29, 2002
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East of Suez
Vietnam uncovers hidden treasure

By Clare Arthurs

A massive archaeological find has delayed the construction of Vietnam's first ever purpose-built parliament house.

Reports from the capital, Hanoi, say that some 2 million items have been unearthed on the proposed site of the new National

The finds, which date back to the 7th Century, were put on display for the first time on Tuesday.

Behind high walls and under striped plastic sheeting, the digging has been under way for months.

But the extent of the find has just now been revealed - artefacts pre-dating the establishment of Thang Long, or modern day Hanoi, as the "city of the rising dragon".

Out of the mud have come the remains of ornate pavilions, tall pillars and delicate ceramics covered in the mythical phoenix and writhing dragons.

Under wraps

In typical secretive style, the authorities have spoken little about the plans for a new parliament house.

Ahead of the recent announcement that German architects had been chosen to design the complex, the BBC was refused access to the site - and parliamentarians were not allowed to talk about the project.

It sits in communist Vietnam's heartland - historic Ba Dinh in old Hanoi, where the founder of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, lies entombed.

It now appears the siting of the new parliament, which was to have been under construction by the end of the year, will have to be rethought.

All a bit vague.


I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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Jul 19, 2004
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Out of Bounds
These discoveries relate to an old imperial citadel / complex that's been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long

The royal enclosure was first built during the Lý dynasty (1010) and subsequently expanded by the Trần, Lê and finally the Nguyễn dynasty. It remained the seat of the Vietnamese court until 1810, when the Nguyễn dynasty chose to move the capital to Huế. The ruins roughly coincide with the Hanoi Citadel today.

The royal palaces and most of the structures in Thăng Long were in varying states of disrepair by the late 19th century with the upheaval of the French conquest of Hanoi. By the 20th century many of the remaining structures were torn down. Only in the 21st century are the ruin foundations of Thăng Long Imperial City systematically excavated. ...

Remains of the Imperial City were discovered on the site of the former Ba Đình Hall when the structure was torn down in 2008 to make way for a new parliament building. Various archaeological remains unearthed were brought to the National Museum to be exhibited. Thus far only a small fraction of Thăng Long has been excavated. ...