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Archaeology & History

Burial site found in mysterious Plain of Jars

By T.K. Randall
March 27, 2016 · Comment icon 5 comments

The jars were built in many different shapes and sizes. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Christopher Voitus
An ancient burial ground containing human remains has been unearthed at a site in Southeast Asia.
Believed to date back up to 2,500 years, the megalithic landscape, which is home to thousands of mysterious stone jars, is considered to be one of the most important prehistoric sites in Asia.

Surprisingly little is known about the ancient people who built the jars, however researchers generally agree that the stone vessels were associated with prehistoric burial practices.

Given the craftsmanship exhibited in the construction of the jars and the sheer number of them scattered across the region, the investment in time and resources must have been staggering.

Now following a series of recent excavations funded by the Australian Research Council, archaeologists have made a significant discovery in the form of an ancient burial ground.
Remains found at the site, including whole bodies and bundles of bones, have so far helped to reveal much about how these ancient people prepared and interred their dead.

Dr Louise Shewan, a researcher from the Monash Warwick Alliance and Center for Archaeology and Ancient History, has been studying teeth from the bodies in an effort to learn more about them.

"My research involves the measurement of strontium isotopes in human dental enamel to shed light on the home environment of the individual," she said. "Teeth mineralise at different ages, so by analsying different teeth we are able to ascertain where an individual lived during their childhood."

Her research is still ongoing, but with any luck, once all the recent finds have been analyzed in detail, it may finally be possible to piece together who these ancient jar builders actually were.

Source: | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Ashyne 8 years ago
First time hearing of this. Maybe they're used to collect or store water?
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
Maybe the missing link is in one of the jars? However I'm sure the "Alien theory" will crop up soon.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nied27 8 years ago
Southeast Asia is also full of mysteries. We are going to explore the Bada Valley,Sulawesi in November to investigate on other megalithic structures. Jars like those, and statues much like those of Easter Island! Can't wait! We'll post full coverage on our FB page
Comment icon #4 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 8 years ago
Seems to me the simplistic explanation would be that they are granaries or fermentation pots for the local brew.
Comment icon #5 Posted by seeder 8 years ago
In the news... What is the secret of the Plain of Jars? Excavations suggest mysterious stone vessels buried in the ground were used to DISTILL dead bodies 2,500 years ago Archaeologists have uncovered 2,500-year-old bones in a covered pit They also found bones buried in ceramic jars at the site in central Laos Researchers say bodies may have been placed in the jars to decompose The bones were later removed and buried in the area around the jars Read more:

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