Prehistoric drawings found in Nghệ An

September 18, 2021 - 08:14

Several prehistoric drawings that could date back to 3,000 years ago have been found at an ancient cave located in Quỳ Châu District in the central province of Nghệ An.


Ancient drawings found in Thẩm Chàng Cave depict geometric patterns - concentric circles and spirals that are typical of the Metal Age. Photo courtesy of Assoc. Prof. Dr Trình Năng Chung

NGHỆ AN  Several prehistoric drawings that could date back 3,000 years ago have been found in a cave located in Quỳ Châu District in the central province of Nghệ An.

The drawings were discovered on the wall of Thẩm Chàng Cave by a survey team of the Việt Nam Institute of Archaeology during an archaeological verification trip.

The cave was discovered by the institute in 2015, said Prof Trình Năng Chung, PhD, head of the survey team, adding that based on stone tools found inside, the cave is believed to have formed during the Iron Age.

“The study of the drawings shows that the prehistoric people who lived in the cave used white pigment that was created from chalk pounded into powder and mixed with vegetable resin or animal fat to draw," he said.

Six drawings depict geometric patterns  concentric circles and spirals – that usually appeared on the ceramics of the time, revealing that the ancient people took shelter in Thẩm Chàng Cave about 3,000 years ago.

This is not the first time that ancient art has been discovered in caves in Nghệ An.

In the 1940s, French archaeologists found drawings in a cave in Châu Phong Commune, about 15km south of Quỳ Châu Town. In addition, human-figured rock carvings were recently detected in a cave in Anh Sơn District’s Hoa Sơn Commune.

The discoveries in caves in Nghệ An, along with art artefacts found in the provinces of Hòa Bình, Hà Giang and Quảng Bình, indicate cave art was practised by people in Việt Nam in prehistoric times.

Also during the trip, archaeologists discovered a new relic site of Hòa Bình Culture dating nearly 10,000 years ago from the Stone Age, which is Thẳm Mới Cave in Quỳ Châu District. Stone working tools found in the cave show fundamental traits of the art of Hòa Bình Culture.

Thẩm Chàng Cave is wide open inward with a tubular structure and few small niches. The total area of the cave is about 800sq.m. The ancient drawings, all of which are geometric patterns, were discovered on the cave walls near its entrance. 

Local authorities have devised plans to conserve the relics. VNS