This period is considered a “revolution” marked with significant economic, cultural and social changes. For example, stone tooling techniques, especially tool grinding, reached their peak; pottery was diversified in quantity, shape and type; craftmaking was developed; exchanges were expanded; farming agriculture started in combination with hunting, fishing, and gathering; funeral rites and beliefs were rich and diverse. This reflects a big step of human development in this period.
Hoa Binh culture, Bac Son culture, c. 18,000 – 7,000 BP.
Most of archaelogical sites of the Hoa Binh and Bac Son cultures were discovered in limestone caves; some in open air and others on river banks. Tools are typically made of pebbles using such techniques as one-sided flaking, two-sided flaking and blade grinding. Typical tools include: short axes, tools in plate, almond, triangular, and oval shapes (Hoa Binh culture); hoes, Bac Son traces (Bac Son culture), etc. Pottery and tools made of bones, horns, and mollusk shells were found in small quantity, while tombs, fire places, human remains, animal bones and teeth, shells and plant peels were richly discovered.
Da But culture, Quynh Van culture, c. 7,000 – 4,500 BP.
These cultures play important roles in the development of the Neolithic period in Vietnam. They were scattered in coastal regions of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces. Tools are made of stone, pebble and sea pebble with simple techniques, such as, hewing or blade grinding to create tools such as axes for grinding blades, iron-shaped tools or hewing axes. Pottery was highly developed as especially rough, round-bottomed shape pots decorated by impressing, coiling and knitting patterns. Point-bottomed pots have combing patterns at both sides. Tools made of horn, deer antler, bone, and jewelry were richly discovered, reflecting characteristics of Da But and Quynh Van inhabitants.
Late Neolithic - early Metal Age cultures, c. 5,000 – 3,000 BP.
These cultures were distributed largely in North, Central and Southern regions, ranging from mountains to valleys, plains, coasts and islands. With a strong advancement of stone and pottery making techniques, Late-Neolithic people made huge improvements in their lifestyle. They started to settle in villages, and many tribes took wet rice agriculture as their main economic activities which included hunting, fishing, and gathering. Various types of handicrafts were created, exchanges were developed, burial customs and beliefs were diversified. These created the foundation for the establishment of early states in Vietnam.