|Pot luck: More than 4,500 items, including ceramics, stone axes, coins and shells dating back to the 3,000-year-old Sa Huynh Culture, were found during two-months of excavation. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh
DA NANG (VNS) — More than 4,500 items, including ceramics, stone axes, coins, mollusc shells dating back to the 3,000-year-old Sa Huynh Culture, were found during a two-month excavation in the garden of the Khue Bac Communal House in Da Nang.
The city's Heritage Management Centre in collaboration with the National Archaeology Institute announced this at a press conference yesterday.
The excavation also unearthed the ruins of Cham towers – Xuan Duong and Go Gian in Lien Chieu and Hoa Vang districts.
Archaeologist Pham Van Trieu, who led the excavation, said items on the 100sq.m area in Khue Bac Communal House, which lies at the foot of the Ngu Hanh Son (Marble) Mountains 15km from the city, feature layers of culture covering the Sa Huynh, Champa and Dai Viet (Great Viet Nam) eras, and trade with China's Ming and Song dynasties.
"The location is situated near an ancient channel running around mountains and connecting it with the Co Co River," Trieu said.
"It was a residential area for people during the Sa Huynh Culture as shown by the stone axes, knives and grindstone," he said.
Trieu said stone pestles, which were used to crush seeds and pound food, were also found in the area.
"Ceramic fragments feature 11 patterns from the Sa Huynh Culture. Potters used to move around a table to mould ceramic items. They did not use the potter's wheel as people do now," he said.
He added that Vietnamese terra-cotta pieces from 14th century, and Chinese ceramic fragments from the eighth or ninth century and coins (1024-64) were found in the area.
An archeological team from Viet Nam Archaeology Institute also dug up two sites at the Xuan Duong Cham tower in Lien Chieu District and found 166 items including bricks and a possible holy hole that were a feature of most Cham towers.
The team said it would have been a large tower from the 11th century, facing the Han estuary. It would act as a religious centre and a light house for boats travelling up river from the sea.
The area is now earmarked for a resort development.
Ceramic pieces of the Sa Huynh, Champa and Vietnamese dated back from first and second centuries were also unearthed at the Go Gian tower in Hoa Vang district.
Local residents also found a sandstone "yoni" and head of Shiva when they restored a temple in the area early this year.
Archaeologists said objects from the excavation at Go Gian proved that the Cham lived in the area in between the late ninth and early 10th century.
The team also discovered an ancient lagoon system that once existed in front of the tower, and connected to the Tuy Loan River.
They said it was a shelter for people from the Sa Huynh Culture before the Cham moved into the area.
Nguyen Giang Hai, director of the National Archeology Institute, said it had signed a five-year co-operation deal with the city's Heritage Management Centre to search for more valuable ancient vestiges in Da Nang and the central region.
The Cham towers were built to honour Champa kings, who ruled the region between the fourth and 13th centuries. — VNS