THE EXCAVATION AT THANH QUEN SITE (QUOC OAI - HANOI)
The Hanoi Museum collaborated with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities to organize a historical excavation at Thanh Quen, Co Hien Village, Tuyet Nghia Commune, Hanoi – “Quen” is the common name of a village. The first excavation started in January 2023 and was commissioned to discover the scale and position of a monument that dates back to the 10th Century AD. This monument is significant as it reveals the history of the first 10 centuries of Hanoi and the Northern region of Vietnam.
The researchers dug two pits with a total excavation area of 19m2. In the first pit, about 130m east of the Co Hien communal village gate, the researchers discovered a layer, from 70cm to 100cm thick, scattered with many pieces of tile, ceramic, terracotta and numerous Ngu Thu bronze coins. Additionally, there is a mixture of charcoal ash, and in some places, a layer of coal ash from 1-2cm thick.
In the second pit, about 130m northeast of Co Hien Communal village gate, researchers discovered a layer, about 100-110cm thick, scatterted with some pieces of tile, ceramic, terracotta and a stone ax. The excavation of the Thanh Quen monument reveals a large number of artifacts including fragments of various types of terracotta architectural materials and household ceramics. There are a large number of curved coloured tiles, the colours include – red / pink / yellow / moldy gray / black and a small number of bricks with technical characteristics and patterns dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (1st-3rd centuries AD), similar to those found in other northern Vietnamese regions such as the ruins of Luy Lau (Bac Ninh City – north of Hanoi) and Cuc Bo (Hai Duong City – east of Hanoi).
The ceramic artifacts discovered are mostly fragments from vases, jars and bowls - presenting the same characteristics of ceramics from the 1st to the 3rd centuries. There are also artifacts from the Dong Son culture (2500- 2000 years ago) and the later Le dynasty (1472 - 1789).Excavation results at the Thanh Quen site indicate that this area may have been part of Giao Chi district during the Eastern Han Dynasty (1st - 3rd centuries AD). So far, no traces of relics from the Luc Trieu (2nd - 6th century AD) and Sui Duong (7th - 9th centuries AD) dynasties have been discovered. The vestiges at this site date back to around the 10th century and according to history, and folklore, this area could have been used as the center of activities for Warlord Do Canh Thac’s military forces (10th century).
The Thanh Quen site is located in the area around Co Hien Village, Tuyet Nghia Commune, Hanoi. An archaeological research investigation in 1969 by the Institute of Archeology determined that Thanh Quen was the base of the 10th century Warlord Do Canh Thac - adjutant General for King Ngo Quyen (10th century), the head of the military mandarins. The excavation of the Thanh Quen site by the University of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Hanoi Museum is part of a long-term research program on the first millennium AD of northern Vietnam.
The excavation process of pit 1
The excavation process of pit 2
Artifacts of pit 2
Ngô Thị Thanh Thuý - Nguyễn Thị Hương