Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2020 Volume XXVI

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2020.26.068-074

УДК 902/904

Archaeological Site of Mount Do in Vietnam: New Interpretation of the Complex with Surface Occurrence of Artifacts

Derevianko A.P., Kandyba A.V., Gladyshev S.A., Chekha A.M., Nguyen Gia Doi, Le Hai Dang, Karpova S.O.

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The article discusses the research of surface complexes from the Mount Do site discovered in 1960 in Vietnam. The difficulties of studying that site are both objective, resulting from the lack of reliable geological and biological context, and subjective, associated with a specific scholarly paradigm. These problems may become the starting points for further discussions, one of which is cultural and chronological attribution of the surface complexes from the Mount Do site. Initially, based on the typological analysis and geomorphological position of the site, the time of the archaeological collection was established as the Middle Pleistocene. Subsequently, these conclusions were criticized by a number of experts. In 2020, a small part of the archaeological evidence from the Mount Do site was examined by the authors of this article, since surface finds of recent years still remained unpublished. The discoveries of the Early Paleolithic industries in Southeast Asia have significantly changed the views on the morphology of lithic artifacts, revealing completely different typological series of tools. Thus, bifacial tools which are sometimes called handaxes and which are one of distinctive markers of Early Paleolithic stone tools, were also made of pebbles following completely different production technique. All this suggests that the surface complex of the Mount Do site does not belong to the Paleolithic and particularly to its early stage. Given the presence of archaeological evidence of varying degrees of weathering, the Mount Do site should be considered a repeatedly visited workshop at the outcrops of raw materials, but only in the Holocene. The archaeological evidence analyzed in this article demonstrates incredible complexity of using the technical and typological method in research aimed at establishing the cultural and chronological context for archaeological complexes of Southeast Asia, and problems emerging from the conventional use of typological series.


Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Mount Do, Early Paleolithic, surface complexes, handaxe, patination

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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