Sunday, December 23, 2018

Prehistoric Mystery Remains


ທົ່ງໄຫໄຮ່ຫີນຢູ່ໂພນສະວັນຊຽງຂວາງ Plain of Jars - Sites 1, 2, 3. Phonsavan, Xiengkhouang, Laos.  

While jar sites 1, 2, and 3 are the most widely known sites to view the jars, in the Lao province of Xiengkhouang there are actually dozens of more sites.  However, most of these megalithic stone jar sites are not yet open to the public, as they have not been fully cleared of unexploded ordinance (UXO).  

(Side note:  Xiengkhouang was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War period by the Americans and their allies who sought to disrupt the Ho Chi Minh Trail that weaved through Laos and Vietnam.  According to MAG International's estimate, approximately 30% of those bombs dropped during that period did not detonate.)

The mystery surrounding these jars is that no ones know who or how they made these, what they were used for, and how they were transported.  Many of the sites are at the tops of mountains and hills which adds to the mystery - how did prehistoric people transport stones weighing several tons up a mountain?

Carbon dating of human remains, carvings, pottery and other items found in and near the jars suggest that they're thousands of years old.

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