Dong Son culture existed from around the 7th to the 1st century BC and was named after the place where the first relic was found – Dong Son village in Thanh Hoa.
Huu Chung bronze drum – a precious artifact of Dong Son culture – has been recognized as a national treasure
In Hai Duong, many relics of the culture were detected in the course of research, working, and production like boat tombs in Kinh Mon provincial town, Nam Sach district, and Chi Linh and Hai Duong cities; Huu Chung bronze drum in Ha Thanh commune, Tu Ky district; bronze jars and drums in Hoang Lai hamlet, An Luong commune, Thanh Ha district; etc.
There are 91 Dong Son cultural bronze artifacts of various kinds, shapes, and sizes at Hai Duong Museum, such as drums, jars, javelins, spears, arrows, axes, belts, elephant bells, etc.
They can be divided into basic groups like household utensils (basins, pots, jars, etc.), offensive and defensive weapons (daggers, javelins, spears, arrows, etc.), musical instruments (elephant bells, drums, etc.)...
These artifacts have partly helped to research on the history of the nature and society of ancient Vietnamese.
In terms of artistic value, many artifacts were elaborately decorated with sophisticated patterns such as Huu Chung bronze drum, Hoang Lai bronze jars and drums, bronze drums in Gop village, etc.
There are plentiful decorative themes like people with stylized bird feathers, flying birds, and typically boat patterns depicted with high stylization and transformation art. Thematic areas are placed in balanced and harmonious layouts, creating closeness with high aesthetic value.
Regarding cultural value, through household utensils like bronze basins, drums, pots, etc., we can understand part of a vivid picture of the material, cultural, and spiritual lives of ancient Vietnamese.
Decorative engravings and patterns on bronze drums, jars, and pots reflect the thoughts of wet rice growers.
Decorations on Huu Chung bronze drum describe life through dances and festivals of Dong Son people.
As for scientific value, the artifacts show the scientific thinking level of Vietnamese people.
Dong Son artisans accurately calculated the proportions of bronze alloy constituents.
According to analyses of scientists, there was a breakthrough in metallurgical techniques in Dong Son age with the use of lead to create an alloy with many advantages, including the feasibility to cast large objects such as bronze drums and jars, helping patterns be filled and marked.
Hai Duong Museum pays attention to preserving the Dong Son bronze collection.
Dong Son antiques are old, bear unique cultural imprints, and were made artfully and sophisticatedly, making restoration and preservation very difficult.
Though made of metal with high durability, the artifacts mostly lay underground for thousands of years, thus being severely affected. Thanks to the museum staff's sense of responsibility, the artifacts have been well preserved.
Among the Dong Son bronze artifacts at Hai Duong Museum, Huu Chung bronze drum has been recognized as a national treasure by the Prime Minister. This is also the first national treasure of Hai Duong province.