Cham tower exhumed in Highland

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First discovered four years ago in Gia Lai Province, an ancient Cham tower, known as Bang Keng, is slated to be unearthed.

"Based on the amount of bricks and the size, it is a temple, not a tower," said M.A Nguyen Quoc Manh, head of the excavation. "The top of this temple has completely collapsed, but this is really a full-fledged construction" said Manh.

Manh added that the structural features indicate it was influenced by Hinduism.

According to provincial archaeologists, the tower signifies an important discovery about the Cham culture's influence in the central highlands.

The team suggests that the structure was erected long ago in the Jú Village - what is now Krong Nang Commune. Because the interior has been totally ravaged, scientists assume that the tower was broken into before they found it.

In addition to structural damage, the tower appears to have been looted of all sacred objects.

Previously, some French scholars had conducted initial studies of Cham towers in Kon Tum, Cheo Reo and other locations in the Central Highlands. This represents the first full-scale look at the cultural traits of the Cham people in the Central Highlands.

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