The place of Tam Hang in Southeast Asian human evolution

Laura Shackelford, Fabrice Demeter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In February 1934, Jacques Fromaget of the Geological Service of Indochina discovered the Tam Hang rockshelter during prospecting work in Northern Laos. During his excavations, the geologist discovered seventeen anatomically modern human skulls. Ten of these skulls have been recovered in association with six largely-complete skeletons. These fossils, which are dated by 14C to 15.7ka, are used to address issues related to anatomical variation and migration in Southeast Asia during the Late Pleistocene. Excellent preservation of the skeletal material allows for estimation of body size and shape in a sample of young adults. Cranial metrics are also used to assess affiliations between Tam Hang and other Southeast Asian fossil samples in an effort to address questions about population migration. This fossil sample demonstrates that Late Pleistocene human activity may be productively addressed by continued work in the highlands of mainland Southeast Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalComptes Rendus - Palevol
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Human evolution
  • Late Pleistocene
  • Mainland Southeast Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology


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