A review of evidence for postulated Middle Pleistocene occupations in Viet Nam

John W. Olsen, Russell L. Ciochon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Since the early 1960s, some Vietnamese and Soviet scholars have proposed that a number of fossil hominid and archaeological localities scattered across the territory of Viet Nam are of Middle Pleistocene antiquity. An extensive review of pertinent literature, in-depth consultation with Vietnamese colleagues, and the examination of specimens and field sites in Viet Nam over the past 3 years lead us to believe that while some of these claims appear valid, the criteria for establishing the absolute age of many localities are tenuous and unreliable at best. We suggest that most assemblages previously interpreted as synchronic single-component occurrences actually reflect human activities extending over very long periods of time. Lines of research that might lead to the resolution of remaining problems are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-788
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of human evolution
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1990


  • Gigantopithecus
  • Homo erectus
  • Middle Pleistocene
  • Palaeolithic
  • Southeast Asia
  • Viet Nam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology


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