Seven needles made of animal bones dating back 6,000 years were recently unearthed from Tham Trong cave in the northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang.

Prof. Trinh Nang Chung, head of the excavation team, said the six-to-eight centimetre-long needles were polished along their length and sharpened at one end. He theorised that the needles might have been used to thread tree bark string to make clothes.

Scientists have also gathered various pollen samples dating back to the pre-historic era for further research.

More than 1,500 stone tools have also been found including 10 sets of grinding tools, where remnants of a red mineral powder thought to be used as a cosmetic for either living people or the bodies of the deceased, with the notion that red was the colour of eternal life.

Many animal teeth, shells and nuts have also been found. Sea shells found at the site suggested the early relationship between local residents and those from coastal regions, scientists said./.