Based on anthropologic and archeological studies of early nomadic civilizations that hunted and gathered food, it is likely that humankind arrived in Asia about 100,000 years ago.
At that time, Southeast Asia had multiple rivers that enrichened the surrounding soil. Together with a heavy rainy season and a warm climate, this environment gave birth to an agricultural civilization, which evolved to include not just harvesting the land, but also raising farm animals and fishing.
The 100 brotherly clans that lived in that region during this time were called Bach-Viet. Lac-Viet was one of the 100 original clans whose expertise in rice farming contributed to the growth of Southeast Asia; this clan is the direct ancestor of the Vietnamese people.
The original agricultural civilization of the Bach-Viet was altered by two major forces.
The first was a natural geological change caused by rapidly rising water levels during the last ice age.
About 20,000 years ago, the water level of the Pacific Ocean was 100 meters lower than now. However, starting from 8,000 to 12,000 years ago, the water level rose to its current level, separating the mainland from the Australian continent and other land masses. Farmers in the lowlands and fisherman that lived by the coast were forced to migrate to higher land to avoid the disastrous flooding.
The second force that altered the original agricultural civilization of the Bach-Viet was the political force created by the nomadic tribes of the West and the North.
These nomadic tribes were exceptionally well-organized and united, outstanding in hunting and fearless… but full of violence. They recognized the benefits of an agricultural civilization, but lacked the skills to tame the harsh environment of their own regions. With an ever increasing population to feed, learning those skills would take too long. The tribes decided to invade the East and South.
Once the tribes conquered the land and dominated the people, they were able to strengthen their power. Their thirst for power resulted in continuous warring all over Southeast Asia for many years.
The ongoing invasions by the nomadic tribes were destroying the Bach-Viet lands all across Southeast Asia. The original 100 Viet clans were either eliminated or under the control of the Northern invaders. Lac-Viet was divided into multiple groups.
Nevertheless, the Lac-Viet clan had developed a tremendous patriotic spirit and a solid cultural foundation (called Dong-Son). Despite being dominated by the Northern invaders for thousands of years starting in 3000BC, the patriotism and courage of the Lac-Viet enabled them to rise to independence in 1010BC. Today’s Vietnamese people have all the characteristics of their patriotic and courageous ancestors.