Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NGÃI — Two stones found at a construction site in Quảng Ngãi City last week are vestiges of a complex of Chăm towers that used to stand in the area more than a millennia ago, officials believe.
Nguyễn Đăng Vũ, Director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, told Việt Nam News that the two stones – 80cm and 1.3m long – are thought to be from the Chánh Lệ Tower, built in the 10th or 11th century.
He said the two stones were unearthed when workers were digging at a construction site on Lê Hữu Trác Street.
“These stones are left from the ruined Chăm tower in the province. The tower had been excavated in 1904 by French archeologist Henri Parmentier,” Vũ said.
“The tower, believed to have been built in the 10th or 11th century, was found in a badly damaged condition,” he added.
He said the first excavation near Trần Phú Street in 1904 had unearthed more than 100 items including statues of Shiva and Brahma, two of the principal deities of Hinduism, and Apsaras, celestial dancers.
The two stones will be preserved at the provincial museum and displayed in its Chăm towers collection, Vũ said.
According to archaeologists, the Chánh Lệ Tower was built to honour the King when the Champa Kingdom reigned in the central coast region between the 4th and 13th centuries. Many towers built during this period are yet to be discovered in central Việt Nam, they say.
The Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary in Quảng Nam Province has preserved many Chăm towers, and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations.
Some Chăm towers now still stand in the coastal provinces of Bình Định, Nha Trang, Ninh Thuận and Bình Thuận.
In 2012, Vietnamese archaeologists salvaged a 700-year-old cargo vessel from the sea off Bình Châu Commune in Quảng Ngãi Province. — VNS