Pre-Sa Huynh Culture items found in Da Nang
Update: May 31, 2017
Forty-eight stone tools and thousands of ceramic pieces dating back to the pre-Sa Huynh Culture (3,000-3,500 years-old) were found during a third excavation in the garden of the Khue Bac Communal House in Da Nang City.

Pham Van Trieu, head of the archaeological team, said at a report on the excavation on May 30 that it’s once again strongly confirmed that the site is a unique relic of the pre-Sa Huynh Culture.

Trieu said items found in the digging, which began from April 15, were similar to items from previous digs in 2001 and 2015. Combined, these reveal the stable development of the Sa Huynh Culture in the area.

“Research on ceramic and stone items from previous excavations clearly expose the rare, intact archaeological relic of only one layer of the Sa Huynh Culture,” Trieu said.

He said the digging also exposed a vestige of an ancient channel running from the site to the 200m away Co Co River.

Trieu, who is from the Viet Nam Archaeology Institute, speculated that a marine transgression in the past thousands year in the area submerged the site, and people living in the area had moved up to a higher land.

“We excavated an area of 50sq.m, 20m away from the 2015 site and found 19 pits with many stone axes that people had used as production tools for daily life and jewelry,” he said.

“The team also recognised chopping boards, knives and grindstone, four-cornered stone axes and multi-function stone tools. The ancient residents used stone axes as major tools and combined chopping board,” he said.

Trieu said the institute will invite an expert from Japan to identify which stones were used for axe making.

The team also found some stone tools that used rock from Quang Binh province, proving that there were exchanges between people from Dai Viet (Great Viet, or now Viet Nam) and people in the Champa Kingdom in the past thousands years.

The team said the former residents created a stone table to produce jewelry and ceramics at a workshop near a defunct river.

The team concluded that the items found in the site were similar to those excavated at archaeological sites of pre-Sa Huynh Culture in Cham Island, Quang Ngai and Quang Nam.

The team suggested that the site, which includes in the 8,000sq.m of the Khue Bac Communal House, must be recognised as a national relic for special protection.

The team also blamed construction of a road had claimed 400sq.m of the site, as the city did not have any warning on an archaeological site.

Trieu said more excavations will be done in the future in the most precious pre-Sa Huynh Culture site in the central region.

He suggested the site will be a big research centre for archaeology of the Sa Huynh Culture.

Director of the city’s Culture Department Huynh Van Hung said the city will rapidly propose the site as a city relic before promoting it as a national relic.

At the previous excavations, more than 4,500 items, including ceramics, stone axes, coins, mollusc shells were found at the site

Many Cham tower ruins have been found in rural areas of Da Nang, but it’s the first pre-Sa Huynh Culture site unearthed in the city.

Khue Bac Communal House, which lies at the foot of the Ngu Hanh Son (Marble) Mountains 15km from the city, was a residential area for people during the Sa Huynh Culture as shown by the stone axes.

The National Archeology Institute had signed a five-year co-operation deal with the city’s Heritage Management Centre to search for more valuable ancient vestiges in Da Nang and the central region.

Some stone axes and pot-shaped burial urns, which were unearthed from the Khue Bac Communal House’s garden in 2001 and 2015, are now on display at the city’s Museum.