Ancient skeletons discovered in Vietnam cave

The remains of 10 Neolithic humans have been found along with thousands of artifacts in the most bountiful archeological site in the region.

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Scientists announced on September 18 the results of their excavation in the Krong No volcanic cave in Dak Nong Province, in the southwest of the Central Highlands at the tail end of the Truong Son mountain chain.

Krong No is a volcanic cave system that has made headlines for its impressive scale and length. The 25-kilometer cave, the longest in Southeast Asia, starts at the Choar volcanic crater and stretches along the Serepok River, ending at Dray Sap waterfall.

In 2017 the general director of the Vietnam Museum of Nature ordered an expedition to look for archaeological sites in the Krong No volcanic rocks park. It led to the discovery of a series of locations containing prehistoric relics. This was the first time prehistoric archaeological sites were found in volcanic caves at the Drap Sap special-use forest. The scientists chose cave C6.1 to begin their excavation of the past.

Tens of thousands of relics were found in the six-square-meter grotto. The archeologists dug to a depth of 1.85 meters and found the remains in eight distinct layers. They also found the remains of mollusks. This was the first time in the Central Highlands evidence connecting prehistoric humans with the sea was found.

Many artifacts were also discovered in towns around the cave area.

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Archaeologists found the remains of 10 individuals including the complete skeletons of two adults and a four-year-old child (pictured).
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A stone tool which was used for making larger tools.
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More relics found in the cave, measured here using a ball pen.
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C6.1 Cave contains vestiges of people living for long periods in ancient times. That they were found in layers extending 1.85 m under the soil indicates there had been several periods in which the people lived. It is the most prolific archaeological site ever to be found in the Central Highlands. The artifacts and way of burying the dead are indicative of the Neolithic era dating back to 4,000 – 7,000 years ago.


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