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Archaeologists find traces of early humans in Vietnam

ANN/VIETNAM NEWS – Archaeologists have found various traces of early humans in a karst mountain cave in Quang Khe Commune, in the northern province of Bac Kan, in Vietnam.

They have excavated Tham Un Cave and found that the cave’s foundation has been recently stirred up by cattle raised by locals. As a result, a cultural layer from an earlier time was revealed.

A hole of three square metres was made to research the culture deposits. Archaeologists have found two cultural layers lying directly on top of one another, without any border layer.

The earlier cultural layer lies lower, measures 0.6-0.65-metre thick and is fairly hard, formed by clay. The dark brown layer contains objects like stone tools together with animals’ teeth and snail shells.

The cultural layer on top has a light grey colour and is made of crumbled soil. The layer contains fewer objects.

Archaeologists working at the site. PHOTO: VIETNAM NEWS

In the hole, traces of four fireplaces have been found at different positions and depths.

Although no tomb has been found in the cave, a total of 700 objects have been recovered, most of which are stone tools made from pebbles taken out of rivers and streams.

“Stone tools found in lower cultural layer have typical features of Bac Son culture (10,000-8,000BC),” said head of the excavation team Associate Prof Trinh Nang Chung.

In the higher cultural layer, a well-polished axe was found, the first of its kind to be excavated from the Bac Kan mountains. Various pieces of broken ceramic wares have been found, too.

The core ceramic material was mixed with various kinds of vegetables, formed by hand with decorative patterns of twisting and gentle curves. It was baked at a low temperature.

Archaeologists have hypothesised that hunting and gathering fruits and vegetables were important food sources for these early humans.

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