Archeologists unearth more Champa structures in central Vietnam

By Linh Nguyen   August 30, 2018 | 10:48 pm GMT+7

Remains of towers and other relics dating back 1,000 years found as excavations resume at known site.

Photo: Da Nang News 

Photos by Da Nang News 

Archaeologists working on an excavation site in Phong Le village, south of Da Nang, revealed last week they have discovered more remains of Champa towers over an area of 350 square meters.

This is the 3rd excavation at this site after others in 2011 and 2012.

Photo: Da Nang News

In 2011 archeologists had discovered the foundation of a tower they called the Gate Tower. In 2012 they had found what they believed were the remains of the old main tower. Now they have found walls, stairs, and foundations in the northern and eastern sides of the site. 

Brick walls found that Phong Le relics site. Photo: Da Nang News

Brick walls found at Phong Le relics site.

In the northwestern region, they found a foundation 4.2 m long and 3.9 m wide made of rammed brown red earth mixed with crushed brick powder. The structure stretches beyond the excavation area.

In the southwest of the site, the team unearthed a brick floor measuring 80 m in length and over 1.4 m in width.

The brick walls on the eastern side of the Gate Tower are mostly intact.

Ancient bricks, made from rammed brown red earth mixed with crushed brick powder. Photo: Da Nang News

Ancient bricks made from rammed brown red earth mixed with crushed brick powder.

A land of stairs was unearthed. Photo: Da Nang News

A stairway is among the structures unearthed.

The archeologists can tell that the tower structures in Phong Le are very similar to others found at the My Son Sanctuary.

A foundation of a tower, believed to be a gate tower to the main tower. Photo: Da Nang News

The foundation of a tower, believed to be a gate allowing entry to the main tower.

The excavation also unearthed many other valuable artifacts, including 23 stone objects, mostly statues of animals such as the lion, a pedestal with a carved elephant image, heads the mythical bird Garuda, snake-like Naga statues, and prayer statues. They can be dated back to the 9th -12th centuries.

Stone artifacts dug up at the Phong Le excavation site. Photo: Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture.

Stone artifacts dug up at the Phong Le excavation site. Photo: Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture.

Many decorative bricks and stone pieces were also found. The details carved in them are similar to those found at the Cham relic sites in Quang Nam Province and the My Son sanctuary.

Photo: Da Nang News

There are also some ceramics from the Champa and China’s Song Dynasty eras.

Photo: Da Nang News

Based on their findings, the archeologists believe that the Phong Le site was built in the early 10th -12th centuries.

The excavation has prompted them to expand their study area to the north, south and west of the existing site to find the complete structures of the towers.

Ho Tan Tuan, director of Da Nang’s Museum of Cham Sculpture, said he is preparing the necessary documents to recognize the site in Phong Le village as a city-level relic site to ensure better preservation.

 
 
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