Friday, September 16, 2011

Ancient and Old Towns of Burma

Burmese Military Regime Destroying Archeological Sites in the Ethnic Arakanese Homeland
Chapter 1: Two Archaeological Sites in Naypyidaw

The first historical site is located in the outskirt of Lewe, called Yan- Aung-Myay (Yanaungmye) which means ‘victorious land over troubles or oppositions’ in Burmese.  U Aung Myint, former archaeologist with the Burma Archaeological Department, pointed out that there is a small patch (mound) of land on the hill where the pagoda is located.  Many people have come and stood on that patch, believing that they will gain some  supernatural power in conquering any hardships.  This particular patch (mound) has been ordained as “Aung-Mye”.   The meaning of ‘Aung Myay’ has an equivalent English translation of “Winners’ Circle”.

Historical Site of Old Yanaungmyay Town near Lewe, Naypyidaw

Location:    (A) - This site is located only one mile north away from Lewe.  Nyobin Creek runs west to east as the southern border of Yanaungmyay.  Shwe-let-hla Pagoda is sitting on top of a hill-lock on the southeast corner but located outer of the moat.  (B) -  This site can be located at Lat 19°39'58.89"N; Long 96° 7'20.38"E.
History:  According to the Yamethin Gazetteer, Yanaungmyay Town was arisen from the ruins which was formerly named as Naungpyin, aAfter the end of Alaungpaya Dynasty.  Yanaungmyay was one of 52 towns under Toungoo Dynasty.  After the second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852, 40 towns were handed over to British administration.  Yanaungmyay was of the rest 12 towns under Burmese administration.

Old Town Site:  (C) - The shape of the town was approximately rectangular.  The traces of old moats can be seen on the photo.  The corners of the walls are not rectangular, instead, they are rounded.  It appears to be that the pagoda on the southeast corner was originally included within the town limit.  The moats and the Nyobin Creek on the east and south were protecting the town as protective barriers.  The old moats and low lands within the town are now occupied by paddy fields.  The area extent of the town is approximately 84 acres.  (Source: Aung Myint, U (1998) Burmese Ancient Cities in the Aerial Photos.  Younzin Press, Yangon, Myanmar.)

Update:  The January 2006 satellite image on Google Earth™  shows that a two-way lane road was constructed through the old town from north to south.  In March 2010, the old walls that were standing on the west and northwest side of the old Yanaungmyay town were destroyed and replaced with new structures as a part of Naypyitaw development, instead of preservation of a historical site. © (Dr. U Win, SDSU-Viz Center,  CA, USA. 2010)

Old Fort near Theyetkon Village near Yezin, Naypyitaw
This site is also a historical site, assumed to be small fort which was one of the first 52 towns of Toungoo District after the second Anglo-Burma War.  This site was identifiable on the aerial photograph obtained by the Burma Aerial Survey Department in Rangoon (A).  This site can be located at Lat 19°48'52.04"N; Long 96°16'57.74"E.

Nobody knows the name of the fort.  It is located south on and a half mile away from Yezin Agricultural University at Yezin Town.  The diamond shape fort was built with earthen walls around.  It had an area of 32 acres. It was located on the immediate north of Theyetkon village.  Although the fort was located in adjacent north to Neyabin Chaung, the moat built around the fort walls was a dry moat. (B)  General terrain of this area is higher in the east and gently sloping towards the south.  The walls were covered with brushes.  There’s no trace of bricks in the walls.  (Source:  Aung Myint, U (1998) Burmese Ancient Cities in the Aerial Photos.  Younzin Press, Yangon, Myanmar)

Update:  In 2006, area within the inside of the fort wall had been leveled to ground.  Instead of preservation of an archaeological site, a building structure was constructed as a part of Naypyitaw development under Burmese military Regime. (C) In 2010, the area of Theyetkon village had been annexed, and villagers were forced to abandon their homes and lands by the military regime.  © (Dr. U Win, SDSU-Viz Center,  CA, USA. November 28, 2010)
Credit:  Aung Myint, U (1998), retired archaeologist, Burma; Google™;

posted ~ September, 2011 by winners' circle  (Re-established)