Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Amateur archaeologist illuminates past
It was almost 17 years ago when Van Dinh Thanh, while panning for gold on the banks of the Po Co River in Sa Thay Commune, reached down and picked up what he thought was a golden nugget. On closer inspection he discovered that the object was a worked piece of stone. Later he was to learn that it was a prehistoric stone hammer. The discovery fired his passion for ancient artefacts and was the start of the young gold prospector’s new life as an amateur archaeologist.

"I found this stone so strange. It thought it can’t have been naturally shaped the way it was so I decided to ask other people about it. After talking to a number of tribal elders and archaeologists, I discovered that my stone had been worked in prehistoric times. From that moment on, I started my quest for more stone artefacts," said Thanh.

One would hope he's not just looting.