sign in a cave in Laos

28 July 2011

Plain of Jars, Laos

The Plain of Jars is one of the most enigmatic sites in Laos, it is a large area littered with huge stone jars.

The jars are surrounded by mystery as no one knows the real history of them, although researchers and archaeologists have offered several hypotheses over the years. The Plain of Jars covers a big area which extends around Phonsavan in northeast Laos, in Xieng Khuang province.

Some of the theories as to the purpose of the jars are that they were used as sarcophagi, or as wine fermenters or even for storing rice.

But there is no evidence confirming one theory over another as the jars have been found empty. A few of the jars have discs lying nearby, which are thought to be lids.

According to this version, the jars were cast from a type of cement that was made from buffalo skin, sand, water and sugar cane, and fired in a nearby cave kiln, Grotte Crematoire.

Grotte Crematoire is a small cave 23m long, consisting of a single chamber with natural holes in the top.

Due to the evidence of smoke it was thought the cave may have been a crematorium and maybe the jars were used to deposit cremated human remains.
The cave was found to contain human remains and also burned bones and ash, as well as unburned bones.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission


  1. I was here too,very interesting Jars.

  2. Yes and archaeologists are still not sure of the history of the jars.