Inspired Travel: Plain of Jars in Laos

by  Amanda Black | Apr 20, 2013
Plain of Jars, Laos
Plain of Jars, Laos / elnavegante/iStock

This largely unknown UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Xieng Khouang plateau in Laos is dotted with thousands of stone jars. The first study of the archaeological site came to the initial conclusion that the jars were most likely associated with burial practices of protohistoric communities in the area. Those theories were later supported when excavations revealed human remains.

The tallest jars are around 10 feet high, while most are much smaller. Most of the faces remain undecorated, while some have carved drawings of human figures on them. Circular discs that rest near many jars are believed to be the tops of the stone containers.

The jars date all the way back to the Iron Age (500BCE to 500 CE). But, local legends tell a different story, one of a race of giants who lived in the area and a king, Khun Cheung, who fought a battle against his enemy and won. Stories say that he created the jars to store rice wine to celebrate his victory!

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