Caves in central Thanh Hoa province have provided soil evidence of climate change from the end of the glacier age, plus tools and an ancient cemetery dating back more than 10,000 years.

The finds were part of a year-long research by scientists from the Vietnam Archaeology Institute and the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.

Announcing the results, the provincial culture department said the objects were from the third excavation this year in Con Moong Cave in Thach Thanh District. They were evidence of the development of civilisations from the Palaeolithic age (2.5 million BC to 10,000 BC) through the Neolithic age (9,000-6,000 BC).

Discoveries show tool-making techniques using pointed stone pieces, self-sharpening stone tools, and changes in lifestyles from hunting and picking to early farming.

Con Moong is part of a system of caves and contains intact earth levels proving the changes in climate from the cold and dry of the glacier epoch and the subsequent hot and humid epoch that began 12,000 years ago and continues to the present time.

The cave represents various periods before the Son Vi Culture (20,000-12,000 BC), to the Hoa Binh (12,000-10,000 BC), Bac Son (10,000-8,000 BC) and Da But (6,000-5,000 BC) cultures.

At nearby Mang Chieng Cave, scientists have gathered many animal and human skeletons. The cave has been noted as a cemetery of people in Palaeolithic period with various stone tools of the Hoa Binh Culture.

In the excavation, scientists also discovered a new cave, called Diem Cave, 1.5km from Con Moong Cave, containing human remains.

The findings in the cave system will help build up a file to seek State recognition of the caves as a national relic site, and the UNESCO title of world heritage.

Con Moong Cave was discovered in 1974 and examined for the first time in 1976. The cave, together with the nearby Ancient Human Cave , Dang Cave , Moc Long Cave and Lai Cave , offers a closer look at the huge valley and its residents, who formed the Da But Culture.

Earlier excavations also revealed human remains at the site.-VNA