Hoa Diem archaeological relic

Hoa Son village, Cam Thinh Dong ward, Cam Ranh city, Khanh Hoa province

  • Certification: 230826164343
  • National monuments

Hoa Diem Archaeological Relic is located in Hoa Son hamlet, Cam Thinh Dong commune, Cam Ranh city, Khanh Hoa province, about 5 km from Cam Ranh city center to the south.

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The relic distributes on a sand dune along the bay with an altitude of about 4m, mainly located around the old Hoa Diem communal house (which has been relocated) and on the land of crops of local people. Also because there is still an old communal house on the archaeological relic, the site is also called Hoa Diem Temple or Temple Hoa Diem to distinguish it from the sites discovered at a later time.

Hoa Diem is a relic located on high sand dunes. Life depends on fresh water of Ta Lua river and pools around Cam Ranh Bay. Because it is close to the sea, the food is mainly oysters, snails, fish, etc., which is the “scallop dune culture” accumulated in the dense cultural layer of marine mollusk shells.

The site was discovered in February 1998 by a research team of the Institute of Archeology to survey the relics of the Champa culture in provinces such as Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan. During the field trip, the group went to Hoa Diem hamlet (currently known as Hoa Son hamlet) and discovered some pottery pieces which are the first trace of archaeological site. In the following years, the Provincial Museum regularly cooperated with the National Museum, the Institute of Archeology, the Institute of Social Sciences in the South, the Museum of Anthropology under the University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Waseda University - Japan, to conduct reconnaissance, excavation, and research on the site.

Based on the excavations and combined with the results of previous surveys, scientists determined that: through the stratigraphy of relic sites and relic objects, it shows that Hoa Diem is a residential site, and at the same time is a burial area consisting of many different types of graves, of which spherical jar graves are the most typical. The residential site is distributed over a fairly large area, which is shown by the stratigraphy of the dug holes. There are areas where mollusk shells are still retained, and there are places where there are no mollusks.

A feature of Hoa Diem relic is the burial area right next to the residence. The characteristics here are that the graves are only spherical, not cylindrical; the burial form can be divided into clusters; there are clusters of single jar graves; There are clusters of two jars facing each other and buried vertically; there are jar graves with lids similar to compotes. In the jars, most of the bones are buried with the forms of burying one or more corpses in a jar. There are many different types of graves; especially the burial items are similar to the arrangement in the jar graves of Sa Huynh culture with relics such as pottery, iron objects, jewelry made of onyx, beads chain made of precious stones, glass or yellow metal.

Through the evolution of the relics, it shows that the cultural layer has only one layer. However, in terms of relics, there are graves buried in the same cultural layer, so there is a basis to confirm that the tombs in the site are dated later. On the surface of the cultural layer, there are scattered pieces of pottery in later stages that do not form a cultural layer, but it also shows that the entire relic has existed for a long time.

In terms of environmental space, Hoa Diem is an area with many favorable factors for residents to live, the terrain with the sea in front and leaning the mountain, fresh water from rivers and streams from the plateau to form a coastal plain in the Cam Ranh Bay area, which is convenient for exchanges with other cultures via waterways and roadways.

Regarding relics, tens of thousands of specimens of different materials are collected during excavations such as: stoneware, pottery, bones, mollusk shell tools, burial jars, jewelry... This showed that Hoa Diem at this stage was quite prosperous. There are types of vases, pots, bowls, ... with many different designs, with decorative patterns and without patterns, with designs that are absorbed and preserved from the previous period, and with special characteristics of Hoa Diem.

Excavation documents show that Hoa Diem is an important link and bridge in studying the development of archaeological culture in Khanh Hoa in particular and Central Vietnam in general. The characteristics of Hoa Diem relic through the types of relic sites, relic objetcs, graves, .... show the development process of the ancient inhabitants of Khanh Hoa in the Prehistoric period, especially during the period of strong interference, fusion and exchange of cultures of many races during this period. Hoa Diem relic allows us to partly realize the transition from Sa Huynh culture to Champa culture in a certain locality and area.

In addition to the unique characteristics and styles that prominently represent a typical Hoa Diem period, Hoa Diem relic also has broader relationships, being a historical link with other relic sites in the province and South Central, South, Central Highlands and Southeast Asia.

Hoa Diem Archaeological Site, dating from the V - IV centuries BC to the I - II centuries AD, is particularly valuable in terms of science, aesthetics, and contains special features of residence of inhabitants of the Prehistoric period, as well as the jar burial form of the inhabitants living here. The relic also clearly shows the cultural space of Con Bau, very typical of the South Central region. Artifacts excavated at the site such as mollusk shells, burial jars, pottery, ironware, glass beads, stones, copper rattles, copper rings, stoves, pottery pieces, animal bones, shells, tools... have partly revealed information about the lives of the ancient inhabitants of Hoa Diem, as well as their burial rituals.

In 2014, Hoa Diem Archaeological Site was ranked as a national relic.