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CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A little-known Mesolithic or Neolithic culture (early-to-mid-Holocene stone tool industry) of southeast Asia (type site is Hoa Binh, Vietnam) dating from 10,000-2000 BC. There are many chipped, pecked, and polished stone axes found in piles of shells. Its importance lies in its position between the earliest centers of rice growing in India and China, and in the part it most have played in diffusing the knowledge of agriculture into Indonesia and the Pacific. The Neolithic assemblages have pottery and ground stone tools for several millennia after 6000 BC. It is best described as a techno-complex with successive cultural accretions, the Hoabinhian cannot be regarded as an archaeological culture of chronological horizon. The majority of Hoabinhian sites found to date are in rock shelters and coastal shell middens. The three recognized phases are: archaic with unifacially worked pebble tools, intermediate with smaller pebble tools and bifacial working and edge-grinding, and late characterized by some pottery, smaller scrapers, grinding stones, knives, piercers, polished stone tools, and shell artifacts.

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