- Mar 30, 2010
If anyone has any pix from any of the sites please post them.Of the 90+ identified jar sites. jar junkies can investigate seven, from large clusters near Phonsavan to less visited Ban Songhak along the Nam Ngum river in the province's north east.
Experts have been trying to unravel the mystery behind the mysterious Plain of Jars since French Geologist Madeleine Colani uncovered one in a cave in 1930. Nearby, she dug up coloured glass beads, burnt teeth, and bone fragments, which spawned the Iron Age crematorium theory.
The jars waited for more than 60 years, during which they weathered a decade of bombing, before Japanese Professor Eji Nitta and Lao archaeologist, Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy, mapped Sit 1 near Phonsavan in 1994. Their find also unveiled surrounding graves as old as the jars, prompting Professor Nitta to consider the urns as monuments to the dead.
Mr Sayavongkhamdy returned with Australian Peter Bellwood, and the reckoned the jars date to the late first or early second millennium BC, and were cremation vessels of family heads circled by lineage.
In surveys from 2004-2005 and again in 2007, UNESCO archaeologist Julie Van Den Bergh, added a twist to earlier theories: possibly people used the jars to "distil" bodies and finally cremate them. Lao legend holds that giants brewed rice wine in the jars, while practical locals believe early traders crisscrossing Xieng Khouang collected rain water for drinking in the jars.
Those are the current choices. Take your pick.