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Golden jewellery in Sa Huynh culture found at Dien Ban
Author: Mai Hong Lam; Translator: Bich Thuy .Posted date: 10/02/2015 .Views: 1963 lượt. [Print]
At the archaeological monuments in the early metal age (2.000 – 3.000 years ago) in Quang Nam, domestic and foreign archaeologists found many kinds of antique jewelries made from many different materials such as terracotta, stones like nephrite, agate, quartz, glass, jade ... and especially there are gold jewelries of the ancient Sa Huynh people... in the past years.


        Those ancient objects have still been intact when they had been found although was in the ground for thousands of years because they were made from gold or plated with gold. Out of more than fifty archaeological sites about Sa Huynh culture in Quang Nam had found, investigated and excavated, Lai Nghi relic (in Dien Nam Dong commune, Dien Ban district) is one of four relics yielded golden jewellery (Others are Dai Lanh and Go Mun in Dai Loc district, Go Ma Voi in Duy Xuyen district). The gold jewellery was a rare discovery in archaeological sites of Sa Huynh culture in Vietnam. To date, in addition to the four sites in Quang Nam, archaeologists have only discovered gold jewellery in Giong Phet – Giong Ca Vo (in Ho Chi Minh City) and Hang Gon and Phu Hoa (in Dong Nai province).

          The number of gold jewelries were found the most in Lai Nghi are Golden beads like two adjoined truncated cones. Those also were found at the archaeological sites in Dai Lanh and Go Mun in Dai Loc district. In the years 2002, 2003, and 2004, the Commission for General and Comparative Archaeology of the German Archaeological Institute in Born, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vietnam National University – Hanoi), and the Museum of Quang Nam Province excavated three times with large scale in Lai Nghi; archaeologists discovered 63 jar burials and the remains of four burial mounds of the ancient Sa Huynh people . The objects buried in the graves along with the deceased including over 300 terracotta objects, 50 bronze objects, bout 100 iron tools and weapons; jewellery including earrings with three knobs, stone earrings shaped like hollowed coins, golden earrings, about 10,000 tiny glass beads, and several hundred of strings of agate beads, 02 red stone beads in the form of a tiger pendant and a water bird pendant.


In particular was the discovery of 122 golden beads or glass beads inlaid with gold. According to PhD Andreas Reinecke, head of excavation delegation of the Born Institute of General and Comparative Archaeology of archaeological German institute, this archaeological site  had a largest number of golden beads discovered  in out of all the Sa Huynh heritage sites which have discovered so far in Viet Nam.

This type of gold beads or beads covered in gold like two adjoined truncated cones, connecting the body by a molding, plane double-headed have trans- orifice along the body. The body diameter is about from 0.4 cm to 0.7cm; the thickness ranging from 0.45cm to 0.55cm; orifice diameter is about 0.1 cm. These beads are very solid and little out of shape despite slight.


In addition, archaeologists also discovered four gold earrings in Lai Nghi relic. Four gold earrings with a diameter ranging from 0.75cm to 0.8cm. Three of four earrings have structure like a spiral, the remaining earring has line carved into it to form moulding around the earrings body. According to Mr Nguyen Chieu, the lecturer of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vietnam National University – Hanoi), these earrings can be considered as the first gold earrings ever discovered from ta Huynh culture.

There are many different opinions regarding the origin of the gold jewellery. Professor Le Xuan Diem said that the golden threaded beads that are shaped like truncated cones were imported. It's just that during that time, gold jewellery was very rare until the first century of Christian Era when trade relations began to develop. Accordingly, many establishments for the production of jewellery were formed at locations along the Vietnam – Thailand coast, bringing in an abundance and diversity of jewellery made from stone and metals, etc. However, in Quang Nam land, there do exist gold mines including Bong Mieu, Phuoc Son and many places have mineral sand gold, so some have argued that it is possible  that the gold jewellery found in those archaeological sites were produced by  themselves the ancient Sa Huynh people.


1.Le Xuan Diem and Vu Kim Loc. “Co vat Champa”. People Culture Publishing House, 1996.

2.Reinecke, Andreas, Nguyen Chieu, and Lam Thi My Dung. “Nhung phat hien moi ve van hoa Sa Huynh”. Linden Soft (the Federal Republic of Germany), 2002.

3.Ho Xuan Tinh. “Nghien cuu khu mo chum Lai Nghi qua do trang suc

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