The Neolithic transition in Vietnam: Assessing evidence for early pig management and domesticated dog

Rebecca K. Jones*, Philip J. Piper, Rachel Wood, Anh Tuan Nguyen, Marc F. Oxenham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The onset of Neolithic food-producing cultures during the Mid Holocene in Southeast Asia (SEA) constituted major social and demographic change. In northern Vietnam, the Late Holocene site of Man Bac has been argued to capture this shift in population and material culture. This paper provides an updated faunal record of Man Bac and assesses the evidence for dog domestication and pig management at the site. Using a mixed method approach combining morphometric analyses, cluster analysis, mortality profiles, and body part representation, dogs are confidentially determined to be domesticated, and pigs are argued to represent an early management strategy. Direct 14C dating on select pig and dog elements provide the current earliest date for these domesticated animals in northern Vietnam and reflects the early expansion of farming communities into Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA).

Original languageEnglish
Article number102042
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Early online date27 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the Archaeological Institute of Hanoi for access to faunal material from Man Bac, and to the two anonymous reviewers for their time spent. This research was supported in part by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship and the ANU Vice-Chancellor’s HDR Travel Grant (RKJ), and several Australian Research Council grants: DP110101097; FT120100299 (MFO); DE150100070 (RW). The authors declare no competing interests.


  • Canis familiaris
  • Domestication
  • Farming
  • Holocene
  • Southeast Asia
  • Sus scrofa
  • Zooarchaeology


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