Mystery: Some paintings have been found on a high cliff dozens of metres above the Ma River in Xuan Phu commune, Quan Hoa district.(Source:

Hanoi (VNA) – Some mysterious paintings on a high cliff in the central province of Thanh Hoa have drawn the attention of scientists.

The paintings, which include some figures of humans standing with their arms open and a dog, as well as some ancient characters, have been found on a high vertical cliff dozens of metres above the Ma River in Xuan Phu commune, Quan Hoa district.

All the patterns were painted with a reddish material which is absorbed on the cliff and not carved on it.

Ha Van Dan, a local who often takes his boat loaded with timber near the cliff, said that the drawings are more visible in daytime, when there is rain and the cliff absorbs rain water.

Many other locals living nearby also confirmed that they did not know when the drawings were done. Many generations have seen the drawings there and have also wondered about the strange sound the wind makes when it blows in a cave near the paintings.

The same drawings have also been discovered on a mountain in Phu Nghiem Commune of the same district. The drawings lie on a cliff at a height between 50 metres and 60 metres from the ground. The drawing material is the same as the one found in Xuan Phu Commune.

Researcher Trinh Nang Chung, from the Vietnam Archaeology Institute told Vietnam News that from his experience the drawings may be made by early residents of first 10 centuries AD.

“The same drawing styles with the same materials have been found in China, Thailand and Indonesia,” he said. “The early people used a kind of reddish mineral material mingled with the plant’s resin, while the compound is absorbed on stone and it can last for thousands of years.”

The artists might have climbed up very high on the cliff to draw and in China the same drawings have been found dedicated to the God of Water, he noted.

Further research will be made at the site in Thanh Hoa.-VNA