The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of central Binh Thuan province plans to work with the Southern Institute of Social Sciences to carry out excavation at an ancient tower complex of the Cham ethnic group in the province.

According to the department, the excavation area at Po Tam tower complex will cover 706 sq.m at the foot of Ong Xiem Mountain in Phu Lac commune, Tuy Phong district, 100 km to the northeast of Phan Thiet city.

The complex, recognized as a national as a national art architecture relic in 1996, consists of 6 towers which date back to the latter half of the 8th century and the early 9th century.

Currently, only three towers remain fairly intact while three others have collapsed. The towers’ architectural style is similar to that of the Poshanua tower complex in Phan Thiet city.

The planned excavation is prompted by the discovery of two ancient walls underneath the complex in 2012, when construction workers were building a wall surrounding the tower complex. Initial survey by the provincial museum staff showed there were two brick walls which are 190cm-high and 65cm-thick. Many neat layers of bricks were also found between the walls, allegedly the remains of a staircase to a collapsed tower.

The discovery of the walls brings archaeologists new knowledge about the Po Tam tower as well as about ancient Cham architecture in general.

The oldest of the Cham towers in the central region, the Po Tam tower is known as a place to worship the kings of Cham people.-VNA