New burials found at the Plain of Jars

Exciting new research coming out of our colleagues from Laos and Australia: preliminary research from the Plain of Jars have uncovered burials – both primary and secondary – found in association with the massive stone jars.

Plain of Jar excavations. Source: AFP, via Bangkok Post 20160404
Plain of Jar excavations. Source: AFP, via Bangkok Post 20160404

Another piece in plain of jars puzzle placed by Lao-Australian archaeological team
Shanghai Daily, 04 March 2016

New Findings on Lao Plain of Jars Help Unravel Ancient Mysteries
VOA, 21 March 2016

Ancient burials revealed at Laos’ mysterious Plain of Jars
AFP, via Bangkok Post, 04 April 2016

Stone jars used to dispose of the dead in ancient Laos, Australian researchers say
ABC News, 04 April 2016

One of Asia’s most mysterious archaeological sites, the Plain of Jars in Laos, was used as an ancient burial ground, Australian researchers say.

The Plain of Jars in central Laos is made up of 90 sites, each containing ancient carved stone jars up to three metres tall.

Today the Australian National University (ANU) announced a team from the School of Archaeology and Anthropology had discovered human remains estimated to be 2,500 years old, shedding light on the use of the sites and jars which had been previously unknown.

Full story here.

Drone flights over the Plain of Jars

In September I was in Laos and I had the opportunity to visit the Plain of Jars, or at least, a few of the jar sites that dot central Laos around Xieng Khouang province. There are over 2,000 jars spread out in over 100 sites. Not all of them are accessible, because of the presence of UXOs, and several have been destroyed due to war and development.

Aerial view of the Plain of Jars Site 1
Aerial view of the Plain of Jars Site 1

The megalithic jars are somewhat unique in Southeast Asia – less known, but distinctively peculiar and in need of further study. They are associated with burials, and the jars themselves display a large variability in forms and sizes and distribution. Despite the rainy weather, I was fortunate to be able to take the UAV out for a spin over various sites:

Gunung Padang excavators working out of questionable assumptions

A controversial archaeological excavation is taking place at Gunung Padang, a megalith site in Java, where the investigators are looking for evidence for a lost civilisation. The problem is, they seem to be working on a number of questionable assumptions, and the article talks about one of them – the so-called Out of Sundaland hypothesis.

Gunung Padang site, Java. Source: Jakarta Globe 20141028
Gunung Padang site, Java. Source: Jakarta Globe 20141028

‘Out of Sundaland’ Assumption Disproved
Jakarta Globe, 28 October 2014
Continue reading “Gunung Padang excavators working out of questionable assumptions”

Conference on Megaliths in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

For any readers in Seoul, you might be interested in this conference on Megaliths in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in Sogang University.

2014 포스터 최종

Problematising Megaliths of Southeast Asia and the Pacific
Date: 16-17 October 2014
Venue: Room 302, Jeong Hasang Hall, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea

Download Brochure

Excavation at Indonesian megalithic site draws criticism

An excavation at the Gunung Padag megalithic site has drawn criticism for its excavation methods by the local archaeology centre. The excavation is being run by an independent team of researcher, who according to the report, have “unlimited” funding.

Archaeologists slam excavation of Gunung Padang site
Jakarta Post, 30 September 2014
Continue reading “Excavation at Indonesian megalithic site draws criticism”

Perupun Arur Ritan stone mound site

Nicholas Gani

Nicholas Gani
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
It’s a photo of Lindsay Lloyd-Smith and I trying to capture a ‘perfect’ plan shot of the excavation trench at the Perupun Arur Ritan stone mound site in the village of Pa Lungan in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak. Part of our work in this year’s Early Central Borneo project, which just ended last week.

Gunungmegang Statue; Man and Elephant

Harry Octavianus Sofian

Harry Octavianus Sofian
Balai Arkeologi Palembang – Departemen Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia
Gunungmegang statue is one of the site from Pasemah Megalithic Culture, located at the foot of the Mountain Dempo, Lahat Distric, South Sumatera Province – Indonesia. Pasemah megalithic culture is very unic, because the representation from the statue not stiff, but show dynamic activity,like Gunungmegang statue, show man holding the trunk of the elephant. This statue show us how the ancient people do domestication of wild elephants?