Mysterious Writing Discovered on Ancient Cham Stone Stele in Quang Nam

While first found in 1997, the writing has not be deciphered until now!

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Chien Dan Tower is located in An Tho village (Tam An commune, Phu Ninh district, Quang Nam province), built in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. This group of towers consists of 3 temples lined up in a row along the north axis – South, the entrance is in the east.

Mysterious Writing Discovered on Ancient Cham Stone Stele in Quang Nam
Photo: Bandidau.com

At Chien Dan tower, there are statues and sculptures of creatures with the body of a lion and an elephant’s head unearthed on the grounds of the tower and in the nearby fields. The three towers represent the three gods in Hinduism, dating from the late 11th to early 12th centuries.

Over time, many parts of the Cham tower have been degraded, but the central area still retains the typical appearance of Cham culture. There are no decorative patterns on the bodies of the towers. Each tower has 3 false doors and one entrance, the top has a curved arch and is pointed upward into the shape of a bodhi leaf.

Mysterious Writing Discovered on Ancient Cham Stone Stele in Quang Nam
Photo:vietnam-navi

A large stele was unearthed by archaeologists in 1997. On the stele, there are 8 lines of engraved Sanskrit inscriptions. However, until now scientists have not been able to decipher these inscriptions.

Inside the tower now displays hundreds of artifacts including statues with Cham cultural characteristics. Artifacts such as offering trays are also unearthed and displayed for visitors to admire.

At the base of the tower, many dancing human figures are sculpted in a unique way. However, over time, these sculptures were damaged and cracked.

Mysterious Writing Discovered on Ancient Cham Stone Stele in Quang Nam
Photo: kientrucdothi

Most of the carved figures in the ancient tower are shown in various shapes including warriors holding weapons in a guarding or fighting posture, and naked dancers dancing the ancient Champa dance.

Today, the Chien Dan tower is a place for tourists to visit and learn about ancient culture. However, the number of visitors here is very small even though it is located on Highway 1 and about 5 km from Tam Ky City, Quang Nam. According to the tower management team, before the Covid-19 epidemic, guests were mainly foreigners. However, since the epidemic until now, the guests are few and most of them are Vietnamese.

Mysterious Writing Discovered on Ancient Cham Stone Stele in Quang Nam
Photo: tripadvisor
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