The Spirit Caves …
… are part of a larger complex that also includes the Banyan Valley Caves and the Steep Cliff Caves.
The Spirit Cave, or the Lod, as it is locally known, is an archaeological site of great antiquity, being occupied in the pre-historic era from 9000BC to 5500BC by the Hoabinhian hunting tribe. They were a Stone Age community of hunters and gatherers who used artefacts and tools of primitive workmanship such as short axes, hammerstones, tools made out of bones etc. the caves were first excavated in the 1960s by Chester Gorman, an American anthropologist and archaeologist, who detailed food items and implements used by the ancient Hoabinhians.
According to Gorman, the Hoabinhians learnt the domestication of plants, as exemplified by the presence of leguminous plants at the site; a number of other fruits and vegetables, such as almonds, betel, pepper, bottle gourd etc were also used as food, condiments and stimulants, and for lighting purposes. Gorma’s work was further extended in 1972 when W. G. Solheim, the director of the Spirit Caves project, published an article in the Scientific American and claimed that the Hoabinhians had also learnt horticulture, and started using ceramics after 6800 B.C.