More mysterious jars of the dead unearthed in Laos


EXCERPTS: ANU archaeologists have discovered 15 new sites in Laos containing more than one hundred 1000-year-old massive stone jars possibly used for the dead. The jars of Laos are one of archaeology's enduring mysteries. Experts believe they were related to disposal of the dead, but nothing is known about the jars' original purpose and the people who brought them there.

[...] “These new sites have really only been visited by the occasional tiger hunter,” Nicholas Skopal, a Ph.D. student at the university who helped discover the jars, said in a statement. “Now we’ve rediscovered them, we’re hoping to build a clear picture about this culture..." It’s believed that the jars were constructed out of large single rocks, carved into their bowl shapes miles away and then brought to various remote forest locations where they were used and then lost for centuries before being found once more by scientists. Along with the jars, carved discs depicting various images were also found near the same locations, and the team believes those to be burial markers. [...] Explaining what went on in these locations will be difficult, but as more artifacts are discovered, archaeologists may be able to slowly piece together a long-lost ritual that is now lost to time. (MORE)

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