Discovering ‘coffin museum’

Po Cung Grotto on Pha Hang Mountain in Thanh Hoa Province is the largest grotto cemetery in Vietnam.

The grotto is 10m high, divided into three parts with two doors of 5m high. It is the cemetery for 74 ancient coffins made of tree-trunks. Most of them are quite intact.

Anthropologists explained that instead of burying dead people, some ethnic groups put dead people in caves. In Vietnam, this practice was popular during the Dong Son era.

Archaeologists discovered coffins dating back to the first century in Thailand caves and coffins from the 5th century BCE to the early 20th century in China’s caves. Coffins in the form of dug-out canoes in Po Cung grotto are the first of their kind to be discovered in Vietnam. These coffins are made of tree-trunks and they are placed on wooden brackets.

The biggest coffins are 2.8m long, 0.48m wide and the smallest are 1.4m long and 0.28m wide. Many coffins don’t have bones inside.

Scientists observed that this grotto may be a cemetery of several big families and they still want to know how they brought the coffins into the grotto, which is located high on the mountain.

After Po Cung grotto was discovered several years ago in Quan Hoa district, officials have combined with the Institute for Archaeology to research the grotto. The provincial government aims to turn it into a tourist site.

Discovering Vietnam‘s Po Cung Cave:

On the way to Po Cung cave - Vietnamtravelblog

On the way to Po Cung cave

The red cross sign is the cave - Vietnamtravelblog

The red cross sign is the cave

 Discovering ‘coffin museum’ - Vietnamtravelblog

Archaeologists left signs on the road.

the cave door - Vietnamtravelblog

The cave door

Broken coffins - Vietnamtravelblog

Broken coffins

(Source: Vietnamnet)