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Arakan’s Danyawady and Vesali recognized as official archaeological sites

The Burmese ministry of culture has reportedly included the ancient cities of Danyawady and Vesali in Arakan State in its official recognition of five more sites in the country as official archaeological sites.

Buddha-image-in-Arakan-300x180The official Burmese language newspaper, Kyemone, reported in its publication on 10th May that the cultural ministry has zoned and recognized those five ancient sites in the country as “Ancient Site Zone” and “Protected and Preserved Zone”with effect on 9th May 2012.

The five sites include Danyawady Ancient City in Kyauktaw Township and Vesali Ancient City in Mrauk-U Township in Arakan State, Myaungmya Ancient City in Myaungmya Township in Irrawaddy Division, Thargaya Ancient City in Launglone Township in Taninthari Division and Amyintywa and Thonepanhla (Anitywa) Region in Chaung-Oo Township in Sagaing Division.

The cultural ministry stated that it would preserve and protect the ancient cultural heritages in those zones with the enacted laws.

“It is good to have taken these steps for these ancient heritages. Mrauk-U was recognized in 2009 and now Danyawady and Vesali are also recognized as official archaeological sites. We welcome these steps taken by the government for our cultural heritage sites”, said U Kyaw Tun Aung, a retired Archaeologist and Curator of the Ancient Cultural Museum in Mrauk-U.

He said the ancient cultural heritages in those sites would be preserved and protected by the state following the recognitions.

“Danyawady and Vesali are the earliest cities in Arakanese history. The Danyawady is the oldest because it was founded in 3325 BCE. Now the state has recognized them as ancient site zones in order to ensure the protection and preservation of them”, he said.

The Vesali City Site is situated between the Waetharli and Thanlarwady Villages in Mrauk-U Township and the Danyawady City Site is situated near the Maharmuni Village in Kyauktaw Township.

It is said in the newspaper that the creation of a land plot, construction of road, digging of irrigations and ponds, setting up lampposts and antennas and mining are not allowed on the ancient zones recognized by the cultural ministry.

Such activities on the zones are restricted by the Cultural Heritage Protection Law enacted in 1998, and any violations of the law will be prosecuted, said the newspapers citing the cultural ministry.

Narinjara has contacted to the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library in Mrauk-U over telephone regarding to the official recognition of ancient zones in the area, but the phone calls were not answered by the department.