Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences
Name: Institute of Archaeology
Phone: 84-4-39333858
Fax: 84-4-9331607
Address: 61 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Functions & Tasks of Institute of Archaelogy

Institute of Archeology is a scientific research organization belonged to Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, established under the Decision no. 59-CP in May 14th 1968 issued by Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

In February 27th 2013, President of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) issued the Decision No. 252/QĐ-KHXH on the functions and tasks of Institute of Archeology. The Institute has the functions of conducting basic issues of Vietnamese archeology, research on the formation and development of Vietnam, and providing the scientific grounds for building orientations, setting up strategies and making policies of an advanced Vietnamese culture with national characteristics. The Institute also undertakes the functions of providing consultancy and postgraduate training in the field of archeology and taking part in the conservation and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritages of Vietnam.

The Archeology Magazine is the only and official mouthpiece of Institute of Archeology and the industry of Vietnamese Archeology.  


1. Successful implementation of the topics and tasks on scientific research at State and Ministry level and attracting human resources from local and foreign research institutions.  

From 1968 to 2012, Institute of Archeology worked with domestic and foreign research institutions to implement more than 50 tasks assigned by State and VASS in the field of doing researches on Vietnamese history, culture and civilization. Also, from 2002 to 2012, Institute of Archeology has conducted 159 research topics with local and foreign institutes in which there were 80 meetings on archeology of prehistory and protohistory, 79 of them were collaborated researches with the most remarkable works as the excavation of 24000 square meters of Nam Giao monument of Ho dynasty (Thanh Hoa).

In the end of the 20th century and the early of the 21st century, Institute of Archeology was honorably assigned many significant tasks, researches and excavation which could be seen largest ever in the history of Vietnamese archeology by State.  They also achieved high evaluation from public as excellently completing the excavation of the Imperial Citadel Thang Long.

2. Major contributions to the researches on national history and the protection, conservation and promotion of the cultural heritages.

In the past 45 years, Institute of Archeology and especially Institute’s nhà tiền sử học who were patient to overcome all dangers and challenges and traveled across the country to do investigation and excavations in high mountains and deep woods. These jobs have defined milestones of the national history. Institute therefore has obtained many important achievements in the researches on prehistory and protohistory of Vietnam.  They are to define the origin of human in Vietnam in 500 million years ago, then set up next history of the research system of developed cultures through periods, do research and learn new knowledge of Hoa Binh Culture – Bac Son Culture, contribute to determine the pathway to New Stone Period in Vietnam and improve the categorized researches on cultures of Post – New Stone period.

A significant achievement of Institute is to study and prove the periods of Hung King are real through the topic on Hung Kings built up country. It has become key factor to bring these periods in the Vietnamese History as well as helped to recognize the protohistory of Vietnam. In 1971, it was the first time when this research achievement was mentioned in the historic book of Vietnam as a contribution to wake up the past of 4000 years after the victory against America for national independence.  (Vietnamese History, Volume 1, Social Sciences Publishing House, 1971, Hanoi).

The Institute of Archeology and local archeologists have done researches to clarify the cultural progress in the prehistory period and the early state in Middle and South Vietnam.  For example, Institute’s research works have explained the cultural content of Sa Huynh and Pre- Sa Huynh. The Institute has sent some staff to the archeology team of South Vietnam as well as some archeology projects in Middle and South Vietnam. As a result, they can confirm the accuracy of the historic period when country was started to be built in North Vietnam.  Institute has worked with researchers to clarify the continuous developing system of cultures in the protohistory and early state in three areas with three centers and three cultures which developed continuously. As a result, an overview picture was drawn quite lively about the first period of building and protecting country.

Also, Institute has improved the researches in all aspects and all historic periods. It has joined in the research works on history of ancient times, middle ages and modern Vietnam about following topics: Material evidences of the life of Vietnamese culture and people in the dark periods ruled by China and fighting against China’s violence; Clarification of history and cultures of dynasties as  Ngo, Dinh, Pre – Le,  Ly, Tran, Early Le, Le, Mac, Middle Le and Nguyen; Participation in the research on Champa culture and the origin, concepts and progress of O Keo (Glass canal) culture.

3. Supply source of historic documents which are highly valuable for the security rights of Vietnam

Being aware of the significant role of archeology in the national historic research as a linkage to the protection of national security, Institute of Archeology implemented the special programs on Investigation and Research on basic archeological issues: Truong Sa - Tay Nguyen - Nam Bo from 1993 to 1998 under the instructions of Prime Minister and VASS’s board of management. The topic has obtained positive results for now.

There are signs of Viet people in Truong Sa islands during the period of the 10th century to the 19th and 20th century. It is a big achievement for Vietnamese archeology so that we could prove our rights toward Truong Sa islands. In case of Hoang Sa island, Institute’s researchers has edited and published the book Hoang Sa – Vietnam’s Islands since 1979 (Social Sciences Publishing House).

In Central Highland (Tay Nguyen), there are a system of near 150 monuments, from prehistory and protohistory, were discovered and studied. As a result, a system of prehistory culture of Central Highland is clarified and categorized in the opening relationship so that they will integrate with communities of all Vietnamese ethnics.  

The program focused on doing researches and suggesting pathway toward O Keo culture and its characteristics. Also, it proved that the O Keo culture belonged to those spoke Nam Dao language and not Khmer people. Although this conclusion is theoretical, they are based on scientific evidences which help to confirm the rights of Vietnam in Southern region.

Above research programs have been conducting as long term projects.

4. Contribution to the conservation of national heritages and the building of World Heritage profile

In recent years, Institute of Archeology has contributed to conserve national heritages in all aspects: Findings, researches, and evaluation of the heritage as well as suggestions to heritages’ conservation; Implementing the conservation at spot for monuments which are just discovered or requested by authority; Providing documents for those who work on heritage conservation job and making plans and policies for heritage conservation.

Making scientific profile is a level of heritage conservation. As a result, Institute of Archeology should have more than 670 profiles including scientific reports, drawings, pictures, and diaries of excavations which are carefully stored. Many profiles have become the references for Preservative studies to have the protection, restoration and conservation.

Institute of Archeology has been in charge of doing researches and evaluating the values as well as conducting the advisory for VASS so that the Academy could suggest and recommend the solutions to conserve the Imperial Citadel Thang Long at No. 18 Hoang Dieu Street. They also join in the building and completing profiles as well as explaining documents related to the world heritage – Imperial Citadel Thang Long.

The Institute has also done researches and provided the document of archeology and been in charge of making document for the heritage “2nd Ho Dynasty Wall” together with appendices, management plans, and answers for questions on this heritage.  

Taking part in doing research and making document for the world heritage Trang An.

Among above heritages, the Imperial Citadel Thang Long and Ho Dynasty Wall have joined in the list of world heritages while Trang An Heritage is being considered and received positive feedback from UNESCO.

Today, many provinces have paid attention to making strategies of archeology in the relationship with building work. Institute of Archeology is working with the Culture – Sport and Tourism Department of provinces as Khanh Hoa, Hanoi, Hue, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh…  The purpose is to investigate and study how to make strategies for archeology in these provinces.

5. International collaboration and promotion the archeological knowledge to public and other countries

Institute of Archeology has collaborated with many international research centers on archeology of Russia, China, America, Australia, France, Belgium, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and international archeological groups as IPPA, SPAFA, and Nabunkens to improve the knowledge base. The Institute has also successfully held many international scientific seminars including Seminar on Culture and Peace (1993), a century of Vietnamese Archeology (2001), The Congress of the Indo – Pacific Prehistory Association (IPPA 2009), and two international consultancy seminars on the conservation of Imperial Citadel Thang Long.

There are more than 2000 articles published on 180 volumes of the Archeology Magazine and they have received high evaluation from public. The Institute also published many books which have high scientific values as a way to promote the heritages as well as to support the scientific researches. Some remarkable books are Hung King built up the country (04 volumes), Dong Son Drum, Dong Son Culture, Vietnamese Archeology (03 volumes), Imperial Citadel Thang Long, Imperial Citadel Thang Long – History of Thousand years from underground, Ho Dynasty Wall, and 47 year books on new archeological findings each year as well as the list of hundreds of books written by archeologists.  

The Hochiminh award was given to the research works on Dong Son Drum in Vietnam, Con Moong Cave, and Hung King built the country by Prof. Pham Huy Thong, and Following the footsteps of ancient cultures by Prof. Ha Van Tan.  APEC conference even use the book on Imperial Citadel Thang Long (2008) by Associate Prof. Dr. Tong Trung Tin as the gift for presidents of countries. Also, Imperial Citadel Thang Long – History of thousand years from underground and Ho Dynasty’s Wall by Associate Prof. Dr. Tong Trung Tin were received the Silver award for great books.

The Government has given the Institute of Archeology with many noticeable awards as The 1st class Labor Order (1988), The 2nd class Independence Order (1998), Labor Hero in the renewal (2004), and Certification of Prime Minister in 2012. The Archeology Magazine and many individuals of Institute have also received the 1st class Labor Order, and many orders for the fighting against America, Labor Order, Certification of Government and VASS.

Looking back the pathway in the past 45 years, Institute of Archeology’s scientists feel proud and more motivated to head to the future and complete all the tasks assigned by Communist Party, State and Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in the field of exploring the national history. 

Viện Khảo cổ học