History has long been a passion of mine, and the study of ancient cultures and their rise and falls is something that I enjoy. Learning how the ties of people and land flow through the generations, moving and changing and responding to influences and conflicts and interaction. Modern humans have been living on this planet for over 100,000 years and just about anywhere you go you can see some sort of history.
Vietnam’s cultures and history can be traced all the way back to at least 9,000 BC, which is the earliest archaeological evidence that has been found thus far, and has been called the Sa Huynh Culture. Later than that and we get into the era of feudal dynasties and clan warfare, and then finally into the great Lords, including the Trinh, Tran, Le, and Nguyen. Running parallel to this in the central and south-central part of Vietnam from about 600 AD until the late 1400’s was an assemblage of empires and kingdoms that together were known as the Cham, or Champa.
Though the Cham were all eventually either slaughtered or absorbed by modern Vietnamese populations, they left their mark on the history of Vietnam by erecting many tall, stone towers to use as central points of focus in their various holdings. Numerous sites exist from Binh Thuan in the south all the way up to Hue, with towers and monuments large and small. The patterns are similar, although various temples and sites have slightly different architecture that represents different periods of Cham history, but there are a couple of sites that stand out among the group. One of these is My Son, the ancient capital of the Amaravati kingdom.
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The full article includes lots of wonderful photos and detailed route maps.