Language experts from France are examining 11th century Cham inscriptions found on a cave wall in central Vietnam.
Experts from École Française d’Extrême-Orient, a French institute dedicated to the study of Asian societies, visited Bi Ky Cave in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang UNESCO heritage park earlier this week to study the clear etching on the stone wall.
Prof Arlo Griffiths of the institute said the research team has been unable to decipher the writing but knows it was done by the Cham around 1,000 years ago.
They have taken photos of it for further study in France, and promised to keep Vietnamese authorities informed.
It is for the first time that a cave etching has been dated specifically. There are fossilized corridors inside the cave system which prove there was life inside millions of years ago.
The Phong Nha – Ke Bang cave system in Quang Binh Province has UNESCO heritage status for both geodiversity and biodiversity.
The 123,000-hectare (nearly 304 million acres) park is home to a stunning network of 400 million-year-old caves including the world’s largest, Son Doong.