Abstract

In February 1934, Jacques Fromaget, from the Geological Service of Indochina, discovered the Tam Hang site in northern Laos. The site is a rockshelter, located on the southeastern slope of the Annamitic Chain on the edge of the P'a Hang cliff. The geologist's excavation revealed considerable faunal remains from the middle Pleistocene as well as human biological and cultural remains from the pre-Holocene period. One of the human skeletons discovered by Fromaget buried beneath the shelter has recently been radiocarbon-dated to 15,740 ± 80 B.P. After being relocated by Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy, an international team carried out new excavations in April 2003. Undisturbed cultural layers from the late Pleistocene and the early Holocene have been identified. The presence of pottery and a lithic industry suggests the use of the site from at least the late Pleistocene into the Holocene. This particularity confers on the site a character rarely found in mainland Southeast Asia. This preliminary study describes the 2003 excavation, the cultural elements found, and presents the historical and archaeological significance of the site in the international context of the quest for human origins that prevailed in the 1930s.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 291-308
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.