BINH DINH, Vietnam - Numerous rare Champa artifacts have been found at the excavation site of Champa tower relics in the Rung Cam forest of this central province.
Dinh Ba Hoa, director of the Binh Dinh Museum, said the excavation work has unearthed about 600 artifacts, including a broken Kala (time god) statue, Shiva god's hand, Champa reliefs and ancient terracotta artifacts.
Hoa revealed that the terracotta items showed signs of Vietnamese, Cham and Chinese origins. The items also include bronze artifacts that have never been seen at Champa tower relics, he added.
Excavation for the artifacts, dating from the 12th to the 13th centuries, was carried out at the province's Binh Nghi Commune from August till early this month.
In 1989, local residents' illegal excavations uncovered two complete artifacts of
the Mahishasura Mardini goddess relief and a stone altar foundation. The two, now preserved at Binh Dinh Museum, are said to be of high artistic and sculptural value.
The godess relief features the Mahishasura Mardini in a dance with her 10 hands, holding holy weapons used to kill monsters. Meanwhile, the round-shaped altar foundation resembles an ancient Vietnamese bronze drum decorated with carvings of lotus flowers on its sides.
Hoa said the province has a total of 52 Champa relics that required more research on their value.
Binh Dinh is also the locality with the largest number of Champa heritage sites, including the Champa capital, Vijaya, which thrived from the 11th to the 15th centuries and lies in what is now An Nhon district, 27km northwest of Quy Nhon City; and a total of 14 Champa towers, all in various sizes, shapes and decorations, scattered throughout the province.