Archaeologists unearth ruins of Cham tower

Update: August, 02/2014 - 09:13
No stone unturned: Archaeologist Nguyen Chieu examines a stone which he identified as the step to an entrance of a Cham tower in Qua Giang Village in Da Nang City. The excavation unveiled three foundations of a Cham tower and hundreds of fragments of ceramics and bricks. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh

DA NANG (VNS)— Three foundations of a Cham tower complex have been unearthed four weeks ago by a team of archaeologists in Qua Giang Village, Hoa Vang District, Da Nang City.

The tower is the second largest excavated in the central city since another was unveiled in Phong Le village two years ago. It was built to honour the Champa King between the fourth and 13th centuries.

The team has found bricks, ceramic fragments and statues, including a large head.

Team leader Nguyen Chieu, a lecturer at Ha Noi's University of Social Sciences and Humanities, yesterday said two foundations were rebuilt using material from collapsed towers.

"We discovered some bricks with figures, used to decorate walls of Cham towers, in the foundations. That means that Cham people collected old bricks from damaged towers to build new towers," he explained.

The excavation, close to the Qua Giang River, aims to shed light on a major hub of the Cham civilization.

"Cham people often lived near rivers, which were major transport and trading routes. The Qua Giang River connects to the Han River in Da Nang City and is an estuary of the East Sea," Chieu said.

While the French discovered the area 100 years ago, they conducted no excavations and left only vague documents, which are currently displayed at the Cham Sculpture Museum.

Contemporary researchers must overcome funding shortages, as well as the difficult task of getting permission to excavate from the four families who own the gardens and houses on the archaeological site.

The excavation was organised by archaeologists from the central city's Cham Sculpture Museum and Ha Noi's University of Social Sciences and Humanities. — VNS