Vietnamese Prehistory and International Scholarship – Part 2: Thought & Solheim

In 1971, archaeologist Wilhelm “Bill” Solheim made some comments in the magazine National Geographic about the origins of agriculture. His comments were premature, and turned out to be false.

Then in the late 1990s those comments were discovered by some Vietnamese who were interested in prehistory. They now serve as “evidence” to support the idea that the ancestors of the Vietnamese were the first people in Asia to cultivate wet rice and that they introduced this technology to the Han Chinese.

To learn more about this, please watch the following video:

2 thoughts on “Vietnamese Prehistory and International Scholarship – Part 2: Thought & Solheim

  1. The “Công-Báo Việt-Nam Cộng-Hòa” published in its January 5, 1957 issue the list of high school students who had obtained the equivalent of the baccalaureate on October 16, 1956. One among them was Cung đình Thanh, born on June 10, 1937 in Thái-bình. I wonder whether this graduate from northern Vietnam was indeed the young man who, decades later, would become an avid propagator of the unsubstantiated theory on Vietnam’s ancient past you are discussing.


    If that turns out to be the case, then we may consider the indisputable footprint that Cung đình Thanh has left so early in the documentary record as a funny factoid very much worth sharing.

    1. Oh, thanks for sharing this!! Everything makes a lot more sense now. I think whatever I saw before said that he was born in the north in the 1930s, and studied in the US in the 1950s, but it left out the critical detail that he went south in between, I’m guessing in 1954.

      This makes way more sense now, because if he went to the US from the north, 1) I don’t know of others doing that at that time, and 2) it would have had to have been before 1954, and 3) that left a lot of time between studying in the US and working in the South in the 1960s.

      Thanks for sharing this!!

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