Researchers find evidence of ancient cemetery in north central Vietnam

THANH HOA (North Central Coast): Caves in central Thanh Hoa province have shown evidence of ancient cemetery and tools dating back more than 10,000 years and climate change from the end of the glacier age.

Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reports the findings were part of a year-long research by scientists from the Vietnam Archaeology Institute and the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.

The provincial culture department said the items, found during the third excavation in Con Moong Cave in Thach Thanh district this year, showed evidence of the development of civilisations from the Palaeolithic age (2.5 million BC to 10,000 BC) through the Neolithic age (9,000-6,000 BC).

The cave represents various periods before the Son Vi Culture (20,000-12,000 BC), to Hoa Binh (12,000-10,000 BC), Bac Son (10,000-8,000 BC) and Da But (6,000-5,000 BC) cultures.

At nearby Mang Chieng Cave, scientists found many animal and human skeletons and the cave has been noted as a cemetery during the Palaeolithic period with various stone tools belonging to the Hoa Binh Culture.

During the excavation, scientists also discovered a new cave called Diem Cave about 1.5km from Con Moong Cave that contains human remains.

Con Moong Cave, part of a system of caves that contains intact earth levels,   shows evidence of climate change from the cold and dry of the glacier epoch to the subsequent hot and humid epoch that began 12,000 years ago and continues to the present time.

Researchers also discovered evidence of tool-making techniques using pointed stone pieces and self-sharpening stones, and changes in lifestyles from hunting and picking to early farming.

The latest findings will be used to seek recognition for the caves as a national relic site and a world heritage listing in UNESCO.

Con Moong Cave was discovered in 1974 and examined for the first time in 1976.

The cave, together with nearby Ancient Human Cave and Dang Cave, Moc Long Cave and Lai Cave, offer a closer look at the huge valley and its residents who formed the Da But Culture.

Earlier excavations have also revealed human remains at the site. — Bernama

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