Cultural and historical values
Halong was also the cradle of ancient people who helped create the present HaLong culture. At the end of 1937, a Swedish archaeologist named Anderson, together with two French archaeologist sisters named Conani, Journeyed for monthes through Ha Long sea. The climbed mountains, visited caves, explored the coastline, an founded many stone artefacts:
Axes, grinding tables, sewing neddles and jewellery. They called the culture that formed these remnants ''Ngoc Vung''. In the monthes and years following, Vietnamese archaeologists continued their research and made many excavations; discovering more archaeological sites; such as Dong Mang, Xich Tho and Soi Nhu. Through an area of some hundreds of square kilometres, they discovered many stone artefacts and pieces of broken designed pottery.
In particular, in the central zone of the present world heritage site area, there have been recent discoveries of fascinating archaeological finds: the Me Cung, Thien Long and Tien Ong grottoes. The quantity of ancient shellfish in the Melina srping. indicated by the 1,5 m-thick heap of shells, amounts to hundreds of cubic metres.
Wherever the remnants of the first peoples of Ha Long are found, they seem to bear a common characteristic: the same materials, techiques, forms and designs. Scientists have called it the ''HaLong culture of the late period of the New Stone age''.
Throughout its development, HaLong has had a particularly important position; being situated on the communication routes between China, Japan and Thailand. Gradually, it became the centre of cultural and commercial exchanges between these countries and ancient Viet Nam. The book Conprehensive History of Dai Viet reads: ''In the second month of the spring of the year of Ky Ty, the 10th year of the reign of Ly Anh Tong (1149), the commercial port of Van Don was established.'' In the long period overlapping the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties, Van Don was a place of busy commercial and culture exchanges between Viet Nam and its South-East Asian neighbours. A remaining vestige of the ancient commercial port is Cai Lang Wharf in Quan Lan Island.
Van Don is also a site that witnessed glorious feats of war against the invasion of the Yuan-Mongols aggressors. It was here that the enemy, General Truong Ho, had an entire fleet of food supply boats set ablaze by Tran Khanh Du. Closely linked to this animated commercial centre were many religious architectural constructions; built to meet the requirements of both traders and population that practise Buddhism and Catholicism.
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