In July 2011, only one month after the Ho Dynasty Citadel was recognized as a world cultural heritage site, a quarry that provided the material to build the citadel was discovered 2km northwest from the citadel.
A group of archaeologists discovered the quarry while studying the area around the citadel. It is located in Vinh Loc district’s Vinh Yen commune, cut out of a cliff that rises 126.5m and covers an area of over 25ha. The Ho Dynasty Citadel’s Heritage Preservation 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.
Luu Tran Tieu, Chairman of the National Council for Cultural Heritage said it was an important discovery in the context of the citadel’s history. The finding will be a “reliable scientific foundation” to support a report on the citadel, which Vietnam has promised to UNESCO after the recognition, Tieu said.
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.
This discovery plays an important role in opening a new way of researching stone exploitation and transportation techniques.
A three-year excavation project will be carried out at the quarry. Local scientists will use manual methods to dig through 20-centimeter-thick layers of soil to unearth and cultural artifacts and preserve the relic site.
Artifacts found at the site will be restored and preserved and used as part of the scientific foundation to support the site’s UNESCO profile when the citadel is officially granted the World Heritage certificate in June of next year.
Thanh Hoa province has also announced a $1million plan to upgrade tourism infrastructure from now till June 2012 to promote cultural and unique values of the Ho Dynasty Citadel.
Under the plan, the website http://thanhnhaho.vn will be updated with information about the World Heritage Site the Ho Dynasty Citadel.
The Center for Ho Citadel Heritage Conservation will cooperate with scientists in unearthing archaeological objects and relics in the citadel, as well as with the Vietnam Road General Department in repairing some sections of national highways 45 and 217.
In the near future, the province will organize a number of tours to the Ho Dynasty Citadel.