DONG SON Civilization
4th to 1st cent. BC 


   This civilization is known by the name of a village south of Hanoi, on the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin where its richest site was found. However its influence covered from South China to the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesia archipelago. 

   The Dong Son culture introduced to the Malay world a skilled knowledge of bronze work including famous large drums and weapons such as spears and daggers. 

Dong Son daggers

Sajen Keris
Meyer Ranneft

  In 1954, the archaeologist A.J. BARNET KEMPERS expressed the opinion that the Keris prototype form is a continuation form of the Dong Son daggers.

   Although they have in common  human shaped hilts, in most cases the Sajen Keris hilts represent a squatting man, whereas the Dong Son dagger hilts represent a standing man, who's arms make a circle and with large circle ear rings.

   However the Sajen Keris illustrated in Meyer Ranneft 1894 book about artifacts from the Buddha area, does represent a standing man, who's arm make a circle.


   The Dong Son dagger leaf shaped blade is quite different from the Keris.


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OLD BLADES - Malay World Edged Weapons.  Copyright 2000 - 2007
Revised: 2008-11-30