First human evidence
Archaeological excavations revealed the existence of humans in the area that is today Vietnam as early as the Paleolithic age. The presence of Homo erectus around 500,000 BC was found in caves of Lạng Sơn and Nghệ An provinces in Northern Vietnam. Other early human fossils are from the Middle Pleistocene age. They include mostly isolated teeth from northern Vietnam at Tham Om (250–140 kyr), and Hang Hum (140–80 kyr). Teeth attributed to Homo sapiens are also known from the Late Pleistocene of Vietnam at Dong Can (16 kyr) and from the Early Holocene at Mai Da Dieu/Mai Da Nuoc (8.2 kyr),Lang Gao and Lang Cuom.
Paleolithic to Neolithic
There are some caves with Paleolithic remains typified by the Nguom industry and the Sơn Vi culture, dating from 28,000 BC to 8,000 BC. The most important event in Vietnamese prehistory is the appearance of Hòa Bình and Bắc Sơn cultures—the most typical cave cultures in Southeast Asia. Archeological excavations in Thailand (Spirit Cave, Non Nok Tha) and northern Vietnam (Dong Son, Hòa Bình) revealed a major surprise: the first Southeast Asians had agriculture and pottery at the same time as the city-states of ancient Mesopotamia. The finds of the fossils of Homo erectus, Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens sapiens in the cave sites in North Vietnam have confirmed that the evolution of human formation took place the most dramatically in the karst topology, from the late Pleistocene to Holocene.