Centuries-old coffins rotting at ancient burial cave

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Centuries-old coffins rotting at ancient burial cave

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 4, 2006 8:28 am

THANH HOA — A cave containing 200 centuries-old wooden coffins in the northern province of Thanh Hoa may be irreparably damaged unless it is preserved soon by archaeologists, says a local official.

The cave is hidden in a dense forest near the top of a high rocky mountain at a spot where the Luong estuary merges into the Ma River in Hoi Xuan Commune, about 140 km away from Thanh Hoa City.

The local ethnic Thai people have never understood the purpose of the "ghost valley", or Lung Ma, as they call it.

The coffins, made from tree trunks split in half that have been hollowed out to fit an adult, have two round ends that resemble a boat.

At each end of the coffin is a carrying handle, with both parts glued with resin. The coffin is placed vertically on a man-made platform in the cave.

However, all of the coffins are now in disrepair and are no longer intact.

<a href="http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?num=04SOC030706">Full story</a>
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