Scientists have discovered more monumental jugs in Laos

Scientists have discovered more monumental jugs in Laos

In central Laos, an unknown people carved more than 1,500. years ago thousands of monumental stone jugs. Trying to understand their function still challenges scientists today. This year, the researchers discovered further previously unknown vessels.

The extensive research project, whichóry for the purpose of learning about twórcóinto a jugów, headed by Dr. Dougald O'Reilly'of the Australian National University. The research team includes rónd scientists from Poland and archaeology students from Poznan, Wroclaw and Szczecin.

The archaeologists focused on góhe vast area of several kilometersów square at the Xieng Khouang site named site 52. Scientists have counted more than 400 giant jugs there so farów – someóre of them measure 2 meters high. This year, the nearby discovery of previously unknown vessels.

– These are just five jugsóin, but were remote from known groups (pitcherów – note. red.); thus expanding the scope of the site, project leader Dr. Dougald O'Reilly told PAP.

Last year, scientists concentrated their efforts on site No. 1 (a few dozen kilometers awayóin from the currently explored area), on a low-lying równin the vicinity of Phonsavan – there is probably one of the most numerous concentrations of these specific monumentsów. The others, experts believe, are located rather precisely in górivers, ok. 1200 – 1300 metersów n.p.m.

At the previous location, through extensive research, it was possible to precisely map 348 stone jugsów. In the vicinity of several of them, róAlso on a limited scale excavation. From this research, it appeared that the jugs and accompanying stone "covers" were associated with the funerary cult – as archaeologists discovered skeletal and urn burials in their vicinityówki human. – Such a variety of ritualów is atypical for a single culture,” he explained wóAt the time of PAP, the head of the research, Dr. O’Reilly.

That’s why this year’s excavations have surprised researchers. – It turned out that in góof the Xieng Khouang province jugs were not accompanied by any pochówki,” research participant Kasper Hanus of the Institute of Archaeology at the Adam Mickiewicz University tells PAP. A. Mickiewicz University in Poznan.

Scientists believe that the previously discovered buriedówks may have been prepared by a population unrelated to the twórmakers of the jugsów. This would explain why no poch has been discoveredówku, whichóry to accompany the jugs in the górious region.

Równina Dzbanów reveals its secrets

This year, archaeologists examined the rósandstone quarries as well, with któThe raw material for forging the jugs was taken from such parts of the vesselsów. The fact that monumental vessels were certainly forged there is evidenced by the jugs still visible in the rótions in various stages of completion. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to discover the tools thatóre were used to forge them.

– O dwóch quarries we already knew, but we were lucky – we managed to discover four hitherto unknown ones,” Dr. O'Reilly explained to PAP.

The head of the project stressed that Polish archaeologists were very helpful during the documentation of the jugsów. They used experimental methods involving m.in. on the use of applications installed on tablets for this purpose. Drone flights have also been made, thanks to which theórym it was possible to make a precise plan of the distribution of the jugsów.

Scientists are still unable to determine the age of the pitcherów. They laboriously define the period of their forging as from the middle of the. I millennium p.n.e. until the half. I millennium n.e. Therefore, this year they also took próbki for optoluminescence research – in this wayób can determine the age of the stones’ last exposure to sunlight. PróThe forging of the monumental vessels was carried out at the siteóre were located buried underground.

Archaeologists have so far failed to examine the settlements, in którich may have been inhabited by former stoners. – However, we managed to pick out a few sites. Determining the age of their functioning may help solve the mystery of the time and cause of the mysterious jugsów – concludes Hanus.

The latest major study of Laos jugsów (within the so-called. Równiny Jugsów) took place in the 1930s. In the 1970s. These were made by French archaeologist Madeleine Colani. In the póIn later periods, only minor excavations were carried out, które have contributed little to the knowledge of the mystery of the jugów. Between 1963 and 1974, the U.S. military intensively bombed the area during the Vietnam War. Millions of unexplodedóin the form of cluster bombs made the area very dangerous for the local population and for touristsów. It wasn’t until the beginning of this century that several of the best-known jug sites were demined, allowing archaeologists to begin extensive research.

Scientists hope that the ongoing work will help Laos nominate Równiny Jugsów to the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage, which will contribute to their better protection and promotion of unique in the world monumentsów.