Sa Huỳnh culture

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Prehistoric and ancient cultures of Vietnam
Sơn Vi culture (20,000–12,000 BC)
Hoabinhian (12,000–10,000 BC)
Bắc Sơn culture (10,000–8,000 BC)
Quỳnh Văn culture (8,000–6,000 BC)
Đa Bút culture (4,000–3,000 BC)
Bronze Age
Phùng Nguyên culture (2,000–1,500 BC)
Đồng Đậu culture (1,500–1,000 BC)
Gò Mun culture (1,000–800 BC)
Đông Sơn culture (1,000 BC–100 AD)
Iron Age
Sa Huỳnh culture (1,000 BC–200 AD)
Óc Eo culture (1–630 AD)
Asia in 200 BC, showing Sa Huynh and their neighbors.

The Sa Huỳnh culture or Sa Huyun was a culture in modern-day central and southern Vietnam and Philippines that flourished between 1000 BC and 200 AD.[1][2] Archaeological sites from the culture have been discovered from the Mekong Delta to Quang Binh province in central Vietnam. The Sa Huynh people were most likely the predecessors of the Cham people, an Austronesian-speaking people and the founders of the kingdom of Champa.[3]:211–217

The site at Sa Huynh was discovered in 1909. Sa Huynh sites were rich in locally worked iron artefacts, typified by axes, swords, spearheads, knives and sickles. In contrast, bronze artifacts were dominant in the Đông Sơn culture sites found in northern Vietnam and elsewhere in mainland Southeast Asia.

The Sa Huynh culture cremated adults and buried them in jars covered with lids, a practice unique to the culture. Ritually broken offerings usually accompanied the jar burials. The culture is also typified by its unique ear ornaments featuring two-headed animals. The ornaments were commonly made from jade (nephrite), but also made from glass. Bead ornaments were also commonly found in Sa Huynh burials, most commonly made from glass.

The Sa Huynh culture showed evidence of an extensive trade network. Sa Huynh beads were made from glass, carnelian, agate, olivine, zircon, gold and garnet; most of these materials were not local to the region, and were most likely imported. Han Dynasty-style bronze mirrors were also found in Sa Huynh sites. Conversely, Sa Huynh produced ear ornaments have been found in archaeological sites in Central Thailand, Taiwan (Orchid Island).

In the Philippines its relics were discovered in the Palawan Tabon Caves. One of the example are the Manunggul Jar and Kalanay Cave in Masbate. The artifacts on the site is one of the "Sa Huyun-Kalanay" pottery complex site were dated 400BC-1500 AD.[4][5] And the Maitum Anthropomorphic Pottery in Sarangani Province c.200 AD.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ John N. Miksic, Geok Yian Goh, Sue O Connor - Rethinking Cultural Resource Management in Southeast Asia 2011 Page 251 "This site dates from the fifth to first century BCE and it is one of the earliest sites of the Sa Huỳnh culture in Thu Bồn Valley (Reinecke et al. 2002, 153–216); 2) Lai Nghi is a prehistoric cemetery richly equipped with iron tools and weapons, ..."
  2. ^ Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts (Bảo tàng mỹ thuật Việt Nam) 2000 "Right from the early history - before and after the Christian era - over twenty centuries from now, there was a cultural exchange among three major Centres Z Đông Sơn culture in the North, Sa Huỳnh culture in Central and south-eastern Nam Bộ ..."
  3. ^ Higham, C., 2014, Early Mainland Southeast Asia, Bangkok: River Books Co., Ltd., ISBN 9786167339443
  4. ^ Solheim, William (1969). "Prehistoric Archaeology in Eastern Mainland Southeast Asia and the Philippines". Asian Perspectives. 3: 97–108. 
  5. ^ Miksic, John N. (2003). Earthenware in Southeast Asia: Proceedings of the Singapore Symposium on Premodern Southeast Asian Earthenwares. Singapore: Singapore University Press, National University of Singapore.