• Friday, June 21, 2019

More Mysterious 'Jars of The Dead' Have Been Discovered in Laos

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by long_, May 20, 2019.

  1. long_

    long_ SENIOR MEMBER

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    AN ENORMOUS collection of giant ancient jars where people dumped corpses a thousand years ago has been found in Southeast Asia.

    Scattered across eery forests and baking plains in Laos, the stash of more than 130 pots was likely used by remote tribes as part of ritualistic burials.

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    ANU
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    A collection of more than 130 jars used to store the remains of the dead have been found in Laos. They're spread across the plains and forests of the country's mountainous northern regions. Pictured are a collection of the jars in a forest
    They were dragged several miles to the sites, despite weighing a few tonnes each – leaving experts scratching their heads over how the megaliths got there.

    The so-called "Jars of the Dead" are among the world's most baffling archaeological mysteries.


    Thousands of the creepy urns have been found spread across the secluded mountains of northern Laos since French colonisers stumbled upon them in the 1930s.

    Made of dense sandstone or granite, some reach a staggering three metres tall. The majority date back to the Iron Age, between 500 BC and 500 AD.

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    ANU
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    Some of the jars stretch three metres tall, weighing several tonnes
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    ANU
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    Scientists found 137 jars across 15 different sites
    Scientists still aren't sure who built them, or precisely what they were used for, though skeletons at some of the sites suggest a link to burial rituals.

    A team of Australian scientists have discovered 137 of the creepy jars at 15 new sites across Laos, shedding fresh light on their elusive origins.


    They're about 1,000 years old – more recent than most Jars of the Dead – and were somehow dragged miles to their eventual resting places from far-flung quarries.

    But what's befuddled scientists most is that there's no evidence anyone lived nearby.

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    ANU
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    During earlier excavations, scientists found 2,500-year-old skeletons among the so-called "Jars of the Dead"
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    ANU
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    Plain of jars site in Laos
    "It's apparent the jars, some weighing several tonnes, were carved in quarries and somehow transported – often several kilometres – to their present locations," said team member and Australian National University scientist Dr Dougald O'Reilly.

    "But why these sites were chosen as the final resting place for the jars is still a mystery. On top of that we've got no evidence of occupation in this region."

    He added that the find shows ancient burial practices involving the jars were "more widespread than previously thought".

    In total, more than 100 sites housing Jars of the Dead have been found so far. They're known collectively as the Plain of Jars.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/9086451/jars-dead-corpses-laos/