Last update 8/9/2011 4:29:00 PM (GMT+7)

Source of rock for building ancient Ho Citadel discovered

VietNamNet Bridge – The Center for Preservation of Ho Citadel has discovered the place believed to be the quarry that provided the material to build the Ho Citadel, a world cultural heritage recognized by the UNESCO in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

Ho Citadel – Vietnam's unique rock work

Ho Dynasty Citadel becomes world cultural heritage

Ho Dynasty Citadel's Heritage Preservation Centre director Do Quang Trong said that a group of archaeologists discovered the quarry while studying the area around the citadel in July, nearly one month after the relics recognized as a world cultural heritage.

The quarry is located in Phu Luu village, Vinh Yen commune, Vinh Loc district, around 2km to the northeast of the relic. The centre has unearthed 21 flagstones scattered across a wide area.

Based on cutting marks on the surface of the stones and comparisons with stones from the citadel, experts said that the stones were intended for the citadel but discarded because of faults such as cracks and size.

“Analysis shows that these are rocks that were processed to build the Ho citadel,” Dr. Tong Trung Tin, director of the Vietnam Archaeology Institute, says.

“This is an important discovery for the preservation and research of this relic. It also proves the skills of Vietnamese builders in the past,” he adds.

The discovery also answers the question “where the rocks came from” which were the wonder of local and international researchers for a long time.

For many years, local and international researchers have wondered where the stone for the citadel came from. There have been a number of theories but until now, nothing solid.

Scientists will continue their research to know how these big rocks were transported to the Ho citadel. Some scientists say that perhaps builders used waterway or balls to carry the rock to the construction site.

"The province should work quickly to protect the area. Moreover, they need to continue their work to add scientific basis to their theory and report it to the UNESCO," says Luu Tran Tieu, chairman of the National Council for Cultural Heritage.

The citadel was built under the reign of King Ho Quy Ly and became the capital of Vietnam from 1397 to 1407.

According to estimations, about 25,000cu.m of stone was used to build the walls of the citadel, and each stone had an average weight of 10-20 tonnes.

On account of its unique architectural and historical values, it was recognised as a World Culture Heritage by UNESCO on June 27, 2011.