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Plain of Jars
Plain of Jars

In Northern Laos, Asia, there is a plateau, on which can be found over one thousand mysterious stone jars, some of them weighing up to 6 tons. The Jars remain one of Asia's most significant archaelogical wonders. It is supposed that the Jars would have been used to contain the bodies of the deceased until decomposition, after which the remains would have been removed and buried or cremated, and the practice of “second burial” is still practiced to this day in the region.

Xieng Khouang was the center of a kingdom of the Hmong (Meo) around the end of the 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century. Later it was conquered by the Vietnamese, who annexed the region.

Xieng Khouang city was totally destroyed during the Vietnam War. The name Xieng Khouang is now primarily used in reference to the province of the same name.

Muang Kham is the provincial capital. Phonsavan (with a small airport serving the region) is the most important place near the Plain of Jars.

The Plain of Jars is approximately 10 kilometers southeast of Phonsavan, at about 1,000 meters above sea level. Dotted over the plain are hundreds of enormous clay jars, each about 1 to 2.5 meters high, with a diameter of about 1 meter.

Still the scientists have yet to find an explanation as to how the clay jars found their way onto the plain, or what purpose they may have served. Some archaeologists have come up with creative theories, including claims declaring them brewery cauldrons. More probable, the jars were enormous urns.

Lots of jars have been destroyed or damaged during the Vietnam War, when American planes bombed positions of the communist Pathet Lao.