Beautiful Vietnam
Dig turns up trove of artefacts
  • | VNS | December 12, 2012 04:05 PM
A Cham tower complex has been found in Hoa Vang District after a three-month excavation, including 629 objects dating from the 10th-14th centuries, archaeologists from the National Museum of Vietnamese History announced yesterday.
 
 Objects found at a Cham tower excavation in Hoa Vang District in Da Nang are displayed at the Da Nang ChamSculpture Museum. Archaeologists unearthed 629 objects at the site.
The discovery of the towers reveals that Da Nang was part of a prosperous region of the Champa Kingdom. The structures appear to have been built to worship a mandarin, whose ashes were buried there.

"It's the first time that a complete Cham tower complex has been found. We discovered a system of three major towers – the centre, the north and the south – along with an entrance tower and a long house," said archaeologist Nguyen Ngoc Chat.

The team unearthed hundreds of objects, including fragments of ceramic vases, blocks with carvings of garuda (a large mythical bird) and broken pottery jars, which were used to contain the remains of the tower's owner.

"We found ashes and fragments of burnt bones mixed in broken jars. We also dug up yoni and linga (female and male sex organs) – typical objects found in Cham towers – in what must have been holy holes," Chat added.

Vo Van Thang, director of the Cham Sculpture Museum in Da Nang, said this was the first time archaeologists had excavated the inside of a Cham tower.

"We hope to unearth more Cham towers in the city in the next two years, since it was a key region of the Champa Kingdom," Thang said.

The National Museum plans to enlarge the excavation to an area of 1ha next year.

In August, a large Cham tower foundation built in the 10th century was found in Phong Le Village in Cam Le District.

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