The Plain of Jars
The Plain of Jars in Laos, which is giving archaeologists clues to an ancient civilization, has recently been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Across the mountains and plains of northern Laos you will find the only relics of this ancient civilization from over 2,500 years ago. Incredibly, strung out across the province, sit thousands of huge stone jars,
Legend holds that the jars were the drinking vessels belonging to a race of giants. However, current thinking holds that they were actually part of an elaborate burial ritual. With the jars weighing up to 20 tonnes each and originating from quarries many kilometres away, it is easy to understand the origins of the giant mythology to explain how they came to be.
No other evidence of this society exists beyond these sites. Adding to the intrigue are a group of remarkably similar jar sites some 1,200km away in Northeast India.
Read more about this from the University of Melbourne or alternatively come and visit! The town of Phonsavan is the main town of Xieng Khouang Province and provides plenty of small guesthouses, hotels and restaurants to keep you fed and watered while exploring the sites. The Plain of Jars Museum also provides a source of additional information and the video below curates a collection of extracts from some of their informative videos on the Plain of Jars:
The Plain of Jars, and the wider Xieng Khouang Province in which it is located, has another more recent history to be told having being on the receiving end of thousands of bombing runs made by US bombers during the Secret War on the back of the more widely known Vietnam War. Read on for more information.