7th century stele found
Updated : 09/17/2012 17:50 GMT + 7
An ancient stone stele, the oldest ever discovered in Viet Nam, is to be preserved at the northern Bac Ninh Province's museum, its director has confirmed.
The artefact, which dates back to the seventh century, was stumbled across by a resident of Thuan Thanh District's Tri Qua Commune when he was digging earth behind Hue Trach pagoda in Xuan Quan Village.
The objects unearted included two flagstones measuring 45x46cm and 9cm thick found two metres under the soil. They were identified as the stele of a high ranking monk's tower grave.
Le Viet Nga, Head of Bac Ninh Museum, said the stone script also revealed that the tower was constructed in the year 601 and contained a description of the grave building.
Nga believes the script remained clear after such a long time because the stones on top protected it from adverse affects.
The previous oldest stele, currently on display at the national Historian Museum, dated back to 616.
Not far from the latest discovery, researchers also found a stone pot containing black impurities which were identified as the bone ash of the monk.
Nga said the antiques prove the long history of Luy Lau Land - known today as Thuan Thanh District - and provide important historical data for researchers.