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New findings of Champa era relic site in Da Nang announced

Archaeologists unveiled new findings in the recent excavation of Phong Le relic site dating back to the Champa era (from the 2nd century until 1832) in Hoa Tho Dong ward of Cam Le district, in the central city of Da Nang, on August 21.

In two previous excavations in 2011 and 2012, researchers discovered many items as well as the almost complete ground structure of a Champa tower.

An elephant-sculptured pedestal found in the recent excavation of the Phong Le relic site. Photo: VNA

The latest efforts from July 17 to August 17 focused on an area of over 300 sq.m, said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dang Hong Son from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University Hanoi.

In the northwest area of the exaction site, they found the ground of an architectural structure with rammed brown red earth mixed with crushed brick powder. The rammed earth layer is 4.2m long and 3.9m wide and stretches beyond the excavation area.

In the southwest of the site, they also unearthed a brick ground that is about 80m long and 1.41m wide. Many pieces of roof tiles and ceramics from China’s Song dynasty (960 – 1279) were also discovered around the area. The location and traces of those tile and ceramic pieces showed that this could be a long structure in front of the gopura (gate-tower) of the Phong Le relic site, Son said.

Items discovered in the excavation are displayed on August 21. Photo: VNA

He added that archaeologists also found a number of items, including bricks, roof tiles, decorative items made of sandstone, ceramics of the Champa and Song eras. Notably, 23 stone objects were dug up, most of which were animal-shaped statues such as a Simha (lion-like) statue, elephant-sculptured pedestals, Naga (snake-like) statues, and Garuda (bird-like) statues.

The researcher said the Phong Le relic site is a large-scale architectural complex in the system of Champa towers in the central region of Vietnam.

He also proposed the excavation and study of the site be expanded in the future. In the short term, the newly found relics need to be backfilled to prevent environmental impact and preserve their current condition.