Co Loa, the oldest and largest earth structure in Southeast Asia

15:34 | 22/12/2014 Entertainment

(VEN)- The Co Loa Citadel’s research, jointly conducted from 2007-2014 by the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center and the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology, showed that the citadel was the oldest and largest earth structure of its kind in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. It was constructed by King An Duong Vuong in the third and second century BC.

According to Dr. Trinh Hoang Hiep from the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology, the biggest value of Co Loa Citadel is its traditional construction method which took advantage of the regional available natural conditions to bank up citadels and dig trenches. Rivers were used as natural trenches and provided water for the whole trench system. Co Loa Citadel showed unique creativity of the ancient Vietnamese people in the war against aggressors. In a cultural view, the citadel became a cultural heritage and a proof of creativeness, technical skills of the ancient Vietnamese people that had been passed through ages.

From Van Lang to Co Loa, Hoa Lu and Thang Long ancient capitals, each move of the capital was a long progress of the history which was suitable with development tendencies and was due to the demand to expand and develop the country under different reigns. Dr. Trinh Hoang Hiep noted, “Each ancient former capital had specific values. Studies on the relations between Co Loa capital with others like Van Lang, Hoa Lu and Thang Long was aimed to affirm the traditional values and special cultural characteristics in each historical period.”

Dr. Trinh Hoang Hiep from the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology stressed that good exploitation of cultural and historical issues related to the Co Loa relic site, building a historical and spiritual cultural space suitable with the traditional cultures will contribute to educating and meeting the demand to enjoy cultural events of every classes of people.

The Co Loa Citadel was recorded in many Chinese and Vietnamese historical books. After the resistance war against the Qin in 208 BC, An Duong Vuong replaced Hung King and moved from Viet Tri to Co Loa to found the Au Lac State. The Co Loa Citadel had nine rings with perimeter of nine miles. The Au Lac State existed for 30 years, from 208 to 179 BC. General Trieu Da (Zhao Tuo) then occupied and defeated Au Lac State. However, in those history books, many events were not consistent in terms of locations, time and contents so it was difficult to make comparisons and find out the truth.

In this circumstance, from 2007-2014, the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center in coordination with the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology and the University of Wisconsin–Madison (the US) conducted three excavations at the Co Loa Citadel relic site: in Thuong and Bai communes from 2007-2008, in Dong Dan Commune in 2012 and in Cho Hamlet in 2014. The historical documentations combined with archaeological findings helped make it clearer about the trenches in late Dong Son period in Co Loa and other periods of the An Duong Vuong dynasty.

Chairman of the National Council for Cultural Heritage, Professor Luu Tran Tieu said that the researching results this time showed a new progress in the studies on the Co Loa Citadel and on the field of archaeology in general. Good preservation and promotion of cultural values related to the Co Loa relic site also means teaching the young generations about the spirit of national independence and cultural and historical traditions of ancestors./.

 

By Thanh Tam

Theo ven.vn