The Nam Lot site in Laos and the hominin-bearing Duoi U'Oi site in Vietnam are dated to MIS 5 (86–72 ka) and MIS 4 (70–60 ka), respectively. Located in the same latitudinal belt ~20°N in the north of the Indochinese area, the faunal assemblages recovered from breccia deposits in a karstic context have the potential to provide information on the palaeoenvironmental conditions faced by earliest modern humans when they entered the Southeast Asian mainland. Here, zooarchaeological evidence of faunas are reviewed combined with a new stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ18O) of tooth enamel of mammals from Nam Lot (86–72 ka), to explore environmental conditions during MIS 5–4 periods. In both sites, large predators (hyena, tiger, leopard, and dhole) had access to a great diversity of prey among mammals. The Nam Lot isotopic results indicate during MIS 5 a complexity in the forest habitats with closed low-light tropical rainforest, “intermediate” rainforest, and C3–C4 open woodland/‘savanna’. This woodland ecosystem – notably the “intermediate” rainforest – carried most of the ungulate biomass, with a variety of small to large-bodied ground-dwelling animals.
- MIS 5–4
- Mammalian faunas
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes