Oc Eo culture-significant part of VN's treasure
10:43 | 06/02/2014

VGP - The Oc Eo civilization contributes ten sets of ancient objects to the list of 77 national treasures, including a collection of golden items which are kept at the Long An provincial museum.

Oc Eo has been regarded as part of the historical kingdom of Funan that flourished in the Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang, Kien Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho and Bac Lieu, and part of Cambodia between the 1st and the 6th century CE.

The objects found at Oc Eo archeological site include pottery, tools, jewelry, casts for making jewelry, coins, and religious statues. Among them are gold jewelry imitating coins from the Roman Empire of the Antonine period.

Excavation at Oc Eo began on February 10, 1942 after French archaeologists had discovered the site through the use of aerial photography.

Archeological sites reflecting the material culture of Oc Eo are spread throughout southern Viet Nam, densely concentrated in the area of the Mekong Delta to the south and west of Ho Chi Minh City.

The most significant site, aside from Oc Eo itself, is at Thap Muoi, north of the Tien Giang River, where a stele with a 6th-century Sanskrit text has been discovered, among others.

Among the previous ten Oc Eo objects recognized as the national treasures, there are three Vishnu goddess statues.

1. Vishnu goddess statue is currently kept at the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City.

2. Statue of Vishnu is being stored at the Museum of Dong Thap Province.

3. Statue of Vishnu is currently exhibited at the Museum of Long An Province.

Vishnu is the Supreme God of Vaishnavism, one of the three main sects of Hinduism. Vishnu is described as the all-pervading essence of all beings, the master of—and beyond—the past, present and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, preserves, sustains and governs the universe and originates and develops all elements within.

4. Loi My Buddha Statue is currently kept at the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City. The statue was found on April, 27, 1973 in Loi My village, Dong Thap Province. The 100-kg statue, sculptured from a Trai trunk-tree, is considered a typical piece of Southeast Asia’s sculpture.  

5. God Surya Statue, currently kept at the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, was found in the summer in 1928 in Long Xuyen, An Giang Province. The statue, said to be made around 1,500 years ago, has the height of 90 cm and the width of 38 cm and weighs 80 kg.

Surya is the chief solar deity in Hinduism. Surya is the chief of the Navagraha, Indian "Classical planets" and important elements of the Hindu astrology.

6. Binh Hoa Buddha statue is being kept at the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City.

7. Sa Dec Buddha statue is currently stored in the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City.

8. Statue of Durga is being kept at the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City. Goddess Durga, which means "the inaccessible" or "the invincible", is the most popular incarnation of Devi and one of the main forms of the Goddess Shakti in the Hindu pantheon.

9. Statue of Avalokitesvara is being exhibited at the Museum of History in Ho Chi Minh City. Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. Portrayed in different cultures as either male or female, Avalokiteśvara is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in the mainstream Mahayana Buddhism, as well as unofficially in Theravada Buddhism.

10. Collection of golden artifacts, stored in the Museum of Long An Province, manifests remarkable value as it proves the creativity of Oc Eo’s people. Golden lotuses in the collection are a piece of evidence of Buddha’s philosophy. Eight rectangle-shaped gold sheets are carved with the image of elephant with the length of 2.9-3.3 cm and the width of 2.6-3 cm.

By Thuy Dung

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