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Con Moong Cave: A Stratified Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Site in Northern Vietnam

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.4.045-056

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Abstract

Here, we outline the findings of comprehensive archaeological studies in Con Moong Cave, northern Vietnam, carried out by the Russian-Vietnamese Expedition, with the participation of Australian specialists, in 2010-2014. The cave is a stratified site, whose habitation deposits span a period beginning ca 42 ka BP. A detailed description of finds is provided. Diachronic changes in artifact types, use of raw materials, and technology are presented. Lithics from layers K-S represent the Early Upper Paleolithic San Vi culture. Finds from layer K include core-shaped debris, flakes, and a discoidal side-scraper (or sumatralith). Tools were made on quartzite pebbles. Finds from layer L, dating to ca 36 ka BP, attest to substantial changes in the choice of lithic raw material: in addition to quartzite, mostly andesite and, less often, limestone, basalt, and certain sedimentary rocks were employed. Primary reduction was not preceded by preparation of nuclei. Flakes are large and medium-sized. Tools include a sumatralith and an end-scraper. The richest material comes from Con Moong layers Q and S, dating to 26-21 ka BP. Preforms consist of pebble cores with unprepared striking platforms. Nuclei include fl at-parallel, radial, and irregular varieties. New tools in the assemblage include choppers, longitudinal and transverse convergent side-scrapers, and discoidal sumatraliths, as well as Hoabinhian axes and a unilateral axe (sumatralith). We conclude that archaeological remains from Con Moong Cave provide evidence of the evolution of the San Vi culture from its emergence to its replacement by the Hoabinhian Technocomplex ~25 ka BP. Lithic industries from layers K and L correlate with one of the earliest stages in the peopling of this region by Homo sapiens.

About the Authors

A. V. Kandyba
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Senior Researcher

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



Khac Su Nguyen
Institute of Archaeology, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences
Viet Nam

Researcher

Phan Chu Chin, 61, Hanoi



S. A. Gladyshev
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Senior Researcher

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



Gia Doi Nguyen
Institute of Archaeology, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences
Viet Nam

Deputy Director

Phan Chu Chin, 61, Hanoi



A. M. Chekha
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Junior Researcher

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



А. P. Derevianko
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Scientifi c Director, IAE; Laboratory Head, ASU.

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



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For citation:


Kandyba A.V., Nguyen K., Gladyshev S.A., Nguyen G., Chekha A.M., Derevianko А.P. Con Moong Cave: A Stratified Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Site in Northern Vietnam. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2020;48(4):45-56. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.4.045-056

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)