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Ancient Mon settlement excavated at Twante Town

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A site of historical significance has been unearthed at Twante Town, Dala area, one of the thirty-two ancient Mon cities of Bassein (Pathein) and home to the ancestral Mon people.

According to U San Win, [a Mon] historical researcher, the excavated site is 75 metres in size (area) containing an ancient building and cultural handiworks dated pre-eleventh century.

“There are marks on the bricks. We have not found a trace of Mon language yet. However, because it is from The Middle Ages, it’s in the Mon region. We can discern this if we check the DNA and identify which nationality settled there. However, research is incomplete. This will take ten more days. Dala Town is believed to be derived from Tala, which is a Mon name. In the Tala area, there is evidence from the Pagan (Bagan) era. And there are also stone-scripts and buildings constructed during King Razadarit’s era. The site that we are digging up now is earlier than the Pagan era. But since we have not finished excavating yet, we cannot be sure of [the reality] it yet,” said U San Win.

At the moment, the base of the building is being unearthed, and to be able to conduct good research funding is needed, according to U San Win.

The historical site has been unearthed about twenty days thus far and the archeologists have nine more days to continue digging.

On May 16, the Mon Literature and Culture Committee – Rangoon went to the site and donated towards the research of the site. However, there is a great deal needed to continue the research, according to Nai Soe Aung, Chairman of Mon Literature and Culture Committee (Rangoon).

“It needs a lot of support from the government. It is known that this excavated building is 2000 years old. Along this area, we can also find our [Mon] ancient pagodas. So, we can retrospectively relate to Twante town with Shwedagon Pagoda’s history. Consequently, Sayar U San Win said there would be other places to be excavated,” said Nai Soe Aung.

According to U San Win, an ordination hall will be constructed at the site, where the ancient [Mon] materials were discovered at Twante Town, Rangoon Division. On the ground floor of the ordination hall, a museum will be constructed to display ancient [Mon] cultural handiworks.

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