The newly opened thematic display entitled “Treasures of Thang Long Imperial Palace” features 29 most typical and unique artifacts found during the excavation of the site from 2002 to 2022 with 3D projection mapping technology.

The valuable treasures are displayed at Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Photo: Chien Thang 

Royal treasures revealed

According to Hanoi People’s Committee Vice Chairman Chu Xuan Dung, the artifacts found at the site are valuable evidence of the existence and longevity of Thang Long -Hanoi.

“These thousand-year-old treasures of the capital city were found and have become invaluable assets of mankind,” he said.

He also appreciated the efforts of scientists, who have painstakingly researched and assessed the value of the heritages to preserve them for future generations.

The ceramics on display in the exhibition are said to be personal belongings of Vietnamese kings and handicrafts for the royal family’s daily life or special occasions such as festivals and birthday ceremonies and the coronation of kings.

The highlight of the exhibition is a terra-cotta pot from the Tran Dynasty in the 14th century, which remains almost intact and is also the largest of its kind ever found.

The display also showcases the beauty of several precious metal artifacts, from jewelry, and golden parts of utensils to royal swords and others.

The terra-cotta pot from Tran Dynasty in the 14th century is on display at Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Photo: Minh An

 “The display aims to introduce the values of antiques found in the Thang Long Imperial Citadel to the public. The new technology of 3D mapping is deployed at the venue for the first time and provides visitors a clearer look at these uniquely beautiful treasures of Thang Long Imperial Palace,” Nguyen Thi Yen – Head of the Preservation Department of the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center said.

Archaeological efforts

The exhibition “Treasures of Thang Long Imperial Palace” is the fruits of labor the of Vietnamese and international archaeologists and scientists during the past 20 years.

Previously, Thang Long Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center and the Vietnam Institute of Archeology announced new findings, which contribute important data for the research of the citadel in April 2021.

According to Associate Professor-Dr. Bui Minh Tri, Director of the Institute of Imperial Citadel Studies, during the past 20 years, the institute has completed much of the project of revising, studying, and assessing the value and making a scientific record of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel relic site.

A treasure found: An earthen Dragon Head is dated back to the 12th century. Photo: Chien Thang

Among them, the most prominent and important is the successful video-graphic reconstruction of the palatial architecture in the citadel based on archaeological vestiges and historical documents.

In the excavation area of nearly 1,000 square meters in the Northeast of the Kinh Thien Palace inside Thang Long Imperial Citadel, five layers have been found about 3.3 meters underground with the nearest to the surface belonging to the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), then the Le Trung Hung Dynasty (1533-1789), the Later Le Dynasty (1428-1527), the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225) and the period before Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built.

According to international experts, there are very few capitals in the world that preserve complex relics of a long history and culture represented by the superimposition of layers like the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. This is an outstanding feature that contributes to the great value and uniqueness of the site which has been recognized by UNESCO since 2010.

However, only about 7% of the citadel’s area has been excavated. Further research is necessary to restore a part of the ancient palace.

An artifact is on display at “Treasures of Thang Long Imperial Palace”. Photo: Chien Thang

Local scientists expect to be able to draw the whole picture of the citadel over different periods soon. Until then, the precious archaeological treasures found in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long would be introduced to those who are interested in archaeology and history.

“Treasures of Thang Long Imperial Palace” thematic exhibition is open to the public from mid-September.

The opening ceremony of the display is organized by Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Preservation Center and Institute of Imperial Citadel Studies last weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (Convention 1972).

The artifact of ceramic dishes from the early Le Dynasty (14th century) are displayed using 3D mapping technology
The space of the exhibition. Photo: Minh An