18th century objects discovered
Update: Sep 10, 2009
The Ha Tinh Museum said on September 7 that it has discovered four wood blocks engraved with ancient Chinese script and a monolithic statue, which are thought to date back to the 18th century.

The wooden blocks are each 18cm wide, 25cm long and 2cm thick, and divided in four equal parts. The ancient Chinese characters inscribed upon them were all in high relief.

The 40cm high monolith made of grey brown stone depicts a thoughtful-looking woman, bending over with her head lowered.

The director of the Ha Tinh Museum Tran Hong Dan told that although the origin, date and style of the statue have not yet been definitely identified and the ancient Chinese script on the wood blocks has not yet been decoded, he believed the four engraved wood blocks belonged to the 18th century.

The archaeological expert said he based his evaluation on his own experiences as well comparisons with over 400 other engraved wood blocks being kept at the shrine of the Nguyen Huy Tu family in Ha Tinh Province.

Previously, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Archaeological Institute identified 15 ancient Champa water wells in the province.

These water wells are in square or round shapes and just between 2 and 5m deep but have never been dry even in droughts, said a Deputy Director of the Heritage Management Department under the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Ho Bach Khoa added the a survey on a large scale is to kick off soon to date the finds and study the structure as well as the skills used by ancient people in building water wells.