Ruins of largest Cham structure unearthed in Vietnam

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A scientist inspects a hollow in the foundation of a Cham tower that's believed to be one of the largest in Vietnam.  

The foundation of perhaps the largest Cham tower in Vietnam was unearthed outside Da Nang on Wednesday.

Vo Van Thang, director of the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture, said the foundation was roughly 4.25 meters long and two meters deep.

It was discovered at the Cham Phong Le relic site in Cam Le District. Since its discovery last March, archaeologists have speculated that the site may have once housed the former religious center of the Cham empire, which dates back to the 12th century.

According to Thang, the latest discovery gave Vietnamese archeologists their first opportunity to study the interior of a Cham tower.

The interior had filled with some 30 cubic meters of sand, he said.

After excavating the filling, scientists discovered eight hollows arranged in different directions around the foundation's corners.

Each hollow contained a large square stone laid above a round pebble surrounded by sand and quartz, Thang added. 

The floor of the foundation featured a crescent-shaped arrangement of stones and quartz. The director said archeologists suspected that the stones had originally been arranged in a circle, but had been somehow distorted over time.

He said the structure probably served as the foundation of the central tower which was part of the religious complex.

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Archeologists unearthed the foundations of a series of temple towers at the site during an excavation conducted between April and October last year.

According to Thang, the vestige site was discovered while a group of locals had begun building a house in March of last year.

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