The Mukhalinga Ba The, discovered in Vong The commune, Thoai Son district in 1986, is a significant representation of the sculpture and religious architecture of the Oc Eo culture. It is believed to date back to the 6th century BC and measures 91cm in height, 20-22cm in width, and weighs 90kg.

During a ceremony, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Nguyen Khanh Hiep, announced that Mukhalinga Ba The is the 8th treasure in the province to be recognized as a national treasure. All the recognized treasures in the province are of the Oc Eo culture.

Currently, the province’s museum houses six national treasures, including the Brahma Giong Xoai statue dating back to the 6th-7th centuries, two sets of Linga and Yoni from the 5th-7th centuries, a Giong Xoai wooden Buddha statue from the 4th-6th centuries, Linga-Yoni Linh Son, and Mukhalinga Ba The. The Nandin Giong Cat Ring and a stone carved with a meditating Buddha image are being kept at the Oc Eo Cultural Relic Management Board.

Hiep stated that the artifacts of the Oc Eo culture have significant cultural, historical, religious, architectural, and artistic value. They contribute to understanding the process of the Vietnamese people’s expansion in the southern region.

The Oc Eo culture was first discovered in 1944 through artifacts found in the Ba The Mountain sites, now located in Oc Eo town, Thoai Son district, An Giang province.

Scientific research has revealed a brilliant culture with a system of extensive monuments and a wide array of artifacts. These artifacts demonstrate high levels of technique, aesthetics, arts, and interaction with major cultural centers of that time.

Artifacts of the Oc Eo Culture are considered valuable historical documents and evidence of a prosperous culture in Vietnam’s history.

An exhibition showcasing the province’s national treasures opened after the ceremony, marking the commencement of the An Giang Culture and Tourism Festival 2023. The festival, which will take place from August 7-10, will feature various activities such as displaying national treasures, a book fair, a storytelling competition, and art performances.