When Giants Roamed The Earth - The Plain of Jars in Laos
While the history of Europe is well understood and documented, India, Africa and even China have remained a mystery. In Asia, the dense jungles of Laos are home to small towns sparsely populated in regions where literacy and record keeping are only gaining popularity in recent times.
When the first explorers came across thousands of gigantic Jars in the field of Laos, the questions who created them and to what purpose could not be answered.
Thousands of these incredible jars are scattered along the lowlands of Xien Khouang, Laos, making this area on of the most bizarre archaeological findings on planet Earth. Often referred to as the Southeast Asian version of Stonehenge, the Plain of Jars continues to fascinate and question archaeologists and scientists since its discovery in 1930.
"The Plain of Jars is one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of the world," explains Dr. Dougald O'Reilly School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australia.
"Surprisingly little research has been done on the site due to conflicts in the region. The area of the megalithic stonework is still littered with unexploded ordnance."
While some of the mysterious giant jars are found alone, some of them are found in groups ranging from a few to several hundred. The Jars are literally found everywhere from the lowlands of the plain to the valleys of the highland hills. Researchers have found over 60 sites containing these mysterious artifacts in the Plain of Jars. The main site, which is also one of the largest with over 250 Jars is called Ban Ang or site 1. Site 52, is the largest archaeological site where over 390 Jars are found. This place can only be accessed on foot.
Some of the mysterious Jars weigh up to 13 tons and range in height from 1 to 3 meters with a diameter of 2.5 meters. Researchers have yet to find the an object that was placed on top of the Jars since most of the Jars have lipped edges suggesting that some sort of cover was made for these Jars in the distant past.
What is the purpose of these giant Jars?
Mainstream archaeology has placed these Jars around 500 BC to 800 AD. Most of the Jars are made of sandstone and granite. Granite is one of the hardest materials on Earth. It is clear that the people who made these structures had an excellent knowledge of the material and the right techniques.
According to archaeological studies, researchers concluded that some sort of drill was used for the elaboration of the Jars. These Jars were not cast stones as some have suggested.
Although the results of a series of excavations seem to corroborate the theories of archaeologists, there is no solid evidence to prove claims about the real purpose of stone vessels in Xieng Khouang which are believed to be ancient burial sites.
According to local folklore, the area used to be inhabited by a race of giants, and their king Khun Cheung planed a great celebration after a victorious battle in a long and brutal war. According to this legend, the jars were used to create and store the Lao Lao, a potent traditional rice wine in Laos.
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