Stone workshop suggests hominids in Central Vietnam 800,000 years ago

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Stone tools from Gia Lai. Source: Viet Nam Net 20160707

Stone tools estimated to be around 700,000-800,000 years old in Central Vietnam suggest the presence of hominids during the Paleolithic.

Stone tools from Gia Lai. Source: Viet Nam Net 20160707

Stone tools from Gia Lai. Source: Viet Nam Net 20160707

Discovery about ancient workshop stirs archeological community
Vietnam Net, 07 July 2016

The team of archaeologists from the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology & Ethnology belonging to the Russian Federal Science Academy and the Institute of Archaeology and Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences made the discovery about the existence of a production workshop of Vietnamese primitive men.

Dr Nguyen Gia Doi, Deputy Director of the Institute of Archaeology, said the exact name of the relic site is an early paleolithic relic with fossil tektite samples believed to be aged 770,000-800,000 years and stone artifacts such as hand axes.

This means that the upper course of the Ba River in An Khe was the place for people 700,000 years ago. This s the oldest appearance of humans and civilization ever recorded in Vietnamese territory.

Full story here.

New prehistoric sites discovered in central Java

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15 prehistoric sites from the Neolithic to Paleolithic have been discovered in the regency of Purbalingga. They were found when geologists were investigating the flow of some of the major rivers in the region, and they require further investigation.

15 new pre-historic sites found in C. Java

Jakarta Post, 08 July 2009
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Amateur archaeologist illuminates past

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15 Apr 2007 (Viet Nam News) – It’s quite interesting to hear about ‘amateur archaeologists’ nowadays, particularly from this part of the world. This man collected some 7,500 stone artefacts over a span of 17 years. I find it quite interesting that the archaeology authorities commend him for his collection efforts rather than the loss of valuable context. Still, the alternative may be worse if the artefacts become ground to make drugs for folk use.

Amateur archaeologist illuminates past

It was almost 17 years ago when Van Dinh Thanh, while panning for gold on the banks of the Po Co River in Sa Thay Commune, reached down and picked up what he thought was a golden nugget. On closer inspection he discovered that the object was a worked piece of stone. Later he was to learn that it was a prehistoric stone hammer. The discovery fired his passion for ancient artefacts and was the start of the young gold prospector’s new life as an amateur archaeologist.

Thanh’s collection now numbers 7,000 artefacts and is the largest in the province. The artefacts date from the 500 BC to 5500 BC and include stone axes, drills, hoes, jewellery and Bon Rang Trau, an agricultural tool shaped like a buffalo’s teeth. The collection is divided into three categories: the Neolithic era (New Stone Age), Mesolithic era (Middle Stone Age) and Palaeolithic era (Old Stone Age). Experts say his collection is invaluable to understanding the anthropology of the region.

“I highly appreciate what Thanh has done,” says Professor Nguyen Khac Su from the Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology, who was a member of the group that visited Thanh’s house in 1991. “The standard of education among those living in the gold fields of Lung Leng is very low. They assume that these tools are ‘hammers of god’ and often grind them down to make drugs for their children. Other people throw them away because they are scared of the prehistoric remains.”


Related Books:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham
Stone adzes of Southeast Asia;: An illustrated typology (Canterbury Museum bulletin) by R. Duff

Lung Leng: window to prehistoric time

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3 September 2006 (Viet Nam Net Bridge) – A larger feature on the Lung Leng archaeological site in the central highlands of Vietnam, with a larger range of photographs of the artefacts found there.

Viet Nam Net Bridge, 3 September 2006

Lung Leng: window to prehistoric time

Located on the left bank of the Po Co River, in Sa Binh Commune, Sa Thay District, Kon Tum Province, Lung Leng used to be a small gold mine. It was excavated in 1999 and 2001 on an area of 11,500 square meters and is one of Vietnam’s biggest-ever archaeological excavations.

In the second excavation archeologists found 20 relics with 14,552 stone objects, 224 pottery objects and 37 metal objects. 500 objects were sorted out into various collections of pottery, ornaments, Gong (cong chieng), alcohol jars, and ethnic costumes to be displayed in the HCM City Historical Museum. Many tools showing the indications of the Son Vi culture from the Paleolithic age were found in the Central Highlands for the first time.