Archaeologists have found traces of humans who lived 8,000-9,000 years ago in two caves in the northern province of Bắc Kạn.
|Pác Vạt Cave in Ba Bể District, where scientists found traces of residential area of an earlier period or the same period as Thắm Cave. Photo courtesy of Trình Năng Chung|
The excavations were conducted last month at Thắm Cave in Na Rì District and Pác Vạt Cave in Ba Bể District.
Based on the objects unearthed and the characteristics of local soil, scientists believe Thắm Cave used to be a residential area of ancient people of the Bắc Sơn Culture, who lived 8,000-9,000 years ago.
Traces at Pác Vạt Cave show another residential area of an earlier period or the same period as Thắm Cave.
Thắm Cave measures around 500sq.m, has different entrances and is located 10m above the foot of a mountain.
The largest entrance faces southeast and looks out onto a large valley. Most of the cave has natural light and would have been convenient for human living.
Researcher Trình Năng Chung, head of the excavation, said traces of early people were found everywhere inside the cave.
Objects including farming tools made from stone and snail shells were found 60cm deep in the soil.
Various tools from the Bắc Sơn Culture (10,000-8,000 BC) were found, including long stone axes and stone knives, he said.
Remnants of food, like snail shells and nuts, were also discovered at the cave.
|Ancient history: Thắm Cave in Na Rì District, Bắc Kạn Province. Photo courtesy of Trình Năng Chung|
“We found a human skull and traces of reddish mineral soil,” he said. “The reddish soil seemed to have been used to cover dead bodies. This shows that early humans buried their dead right in their residential area.”
Pác Vạt Cave measures nearly 1,000sq.m and is near a low karst mountain, 40m from the Năng River.
At the site, scientists found 10 stone stools, snail shells and animal teeth.
Further excavations in the caves will be carried out in the coming months.