Archaeologists unearth 127-km long ‘Great Wall’ of Vietnam

Thursday, January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON - Archaeologists have recently uncovered a 127-km long wall in Vietnam, which locals call as “Vietnam’s Great Wall”.

The team of archaeologists discovered the wall in the mountain foothills of a remote province in central Vietnam after five years of exploration and excavation.

“This is the longest monument in Southeast Asia,” quoted Professor Phan Huy Le, president of the Vietnam Association of Historians, as saying.

The wall is built of alternating sections of stone and earth, with some sections reaching a height of up to four meters.

Dr. Andrew Hardy, associate professor and head of the Hanoi branch of Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient (French School of Asian Studies), had in 2005 found an odd reference to a “Long Wall of Quang Ngai”.

The reference had been made in an 1885 document compiled by the Nguyen Dynasty court entitled, ‘Descriptive Geography of the Emperor Dong Khanh’.

It sparked his imagination and a major exploration and excavation project for a team led by Hardy and Dr. Nguyen Tien Dong, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences) started.

The wall stretches from northern Quang Ngai Province south into the province of Binh Dinh and is arguably the greatest engineering feat of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Construction of the Long Wall started in 1819 under the direction of Le Van Duyet, a high-ranking mandarin serving Emperor Gia Long, and it served to demarcate territory and regulate trade and travel between the Viet in the plains and the Hre tribes in the mountain valleys.

An application for National Heritage status is now being processed with the ambition of turning the Long Wall into an international tourist attraction. (ANI)

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