Accordingly, the excavation site on An Ton mountain in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa's Vinh Loc District, nearly two kilometers away from the 600-year-old citadel, will cover an area of 300 square meters with the total capital investment of US$25,000.

Local scientists will use manual methods to dig through 20-centimeter-thick layers of soil to unearth and cultural artifacts and preserve the relic site.

Artifacts found at the site will be restored and preserved and used as part of the scientific foundation to support the site's UNESCO profile when the citadel is officially granted the World Heritage certificate in June of next year.

The rock site, including a total of 21 large damaged flagstones, was found in August and answered the long-asked question of where the citadel builders got their stones from.

The Ho Dynasty Citadel was built by Ho Quy Ly (1336-1407) to house his central government more than 600 years ago. It was built with around 25,000 cubic meters of stone.

The relic site was recognized as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in June.

Thanh Nien News - October 15, 2011