Naval battles stakes found in Hai Phong

The Hai Phong municipal Department of Culture and Sports in Vietnam has sent a document to the City People’s Committee asking for permission to conduct urgent excavations at the site in the Vietnamese city where 13 wooden stakes were unearthed.

The stakes were assumed to be involved in historic naval battles between the Dai Viet army and Yuan-Mongol invaders in the 13th century.

Farmer Dao Van Den in the city’s Thuy Nguyen district recently discovered the 13 stakes while digging to build a pond near his home, the department said.

On February 12, experts from the Vietnam Archaeology Institute came to the site to examine the stakes.

Den’s pond is located at the confluence of the Kinh Thay, Da Vach and Da Bac rivers. The stakes were mostly destroyed. Some of them were buried deep in a stone dyke.

Experts said the discovery of the stakes at Den’s house were important in a naval battle between armies of Dai Viet and Yuan-Mongol invaders on the Bach Dang River in 1288.

On October 1, last year, Nguyen Van Trieu, another farmer in the district’s Lien Khe commune found two wooden stakes at a depth of 0.5-0.7m.

Some locals had also discovered big wooden stakes deep in the soil.

On November 27, experts from the institute and Hai Phong Museum excavated Cao Quy Field.

On a total area of 950sqm, 27 stakes were found, which were mostly broken on the top. All the stakes were made of hard, dark-red wood.

Experts said the stakes were part of a trap made by the Dai Viet army in 1288 to prevent the enemy from entering the Gia river.

The army wanted to guide the enemy’s boats to Bach Dang river from Da Bac river and trap them in another big field of stakes. The invaders’ boats would then be damaged as the tide receded.

In their efforts to invade Southeast Asia, the Yuan-Mongol army fought Dai Viet three times (1257-1258, 1284-1285 and 1287-1288), losing each time.

After their defeat in 1288, the empire gradually weakened and collapsed. The victory helped prevent the empire from invading Japan and Southeast Asia, researcher Vu Minh Giang said.