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Ancient Mon laterite artefacts found mostly in lower Burma

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Ancient Mon laterite artefacts, including a stupa and Buddha images sculptured from laterite, are found mostly in Mon State’s Kyaikhto township, Thaton township and Belin Township, Lower Burma, according to Historian Dr. Nang Hlaing.

Historian and Researcher Dr. Nang Hlaing stated the above at the Research Paper Reading Ceremony on Ramannadesa, which was held on Sunday at Rehmonnya Hotel, in Mon State’s capital Mawlamyine, formerly known as Moulmein.

“Many laterite [works] are found in Mon State, lower Burma. Some places do not have laterite. If they do, they are not well-kept. However, [here], we found ones that are sculptured beautifully,” said Dr. Nang Hlaing.

Research Paper Presentation Ceremony on Ramannadesa (photo: MNA)
Research Paper Reading Ceremony on Ramannadesa (photo: MNA)

January 15’s research symposium attracted over 300 participants including Buddhist monks, Dr. Toe Hla, the vice-chairman of the Myanmar Historical Commission, and Dr. Min Kyi Win, Mon State’s Minister of Natural Resource and Environmental Conservation.

Dr. Nang Hlaing also said that as part of her research work, she travelled to the Irrawaddy Delta, Sittaung River, Yangon Region, Mon State and Karen State, and gathered facts. She stated that she also discovered that ancient materials found in Lower Burma could be damaged easily due to the region’s high rainfall.

“We cannot deny that our Mon people have resided in this region over 4,000 years. We conduct this research paper reading ceremony because we do not want our tradition affected by others. We want to display it,” said Dr. Min Nwe Soe, Joint-secretary (1) of the organizing committee for the research paper reading ceremony on Ramannadesa.

The ancient Mon laterite-made artefacts are only found in Thailand and Lower Burma. From those regions, 45 places held priceless traditional laterite-made stupas, Buddha images and city walls. Dr. Nang Hlaing used the facts found from those 45 sites and described how they were made.

Mon State Government has recognized the laterite-made Chedi [stupa] and Buddha images, ancient city walls and walls made out of laterite as ancient traditional buildings. Those places included in Kyaikhto Town, Mudon Township’s Kaw-paran Village, ancient Win-ka City, and Sin-tap, Myin-tap, ancient Ka-tar City and Ah-yet-tama Village in Belin Township, ancient Thaton city, and Waewinkara Village in Thanbyuzayat Township.

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