Plain of Jars could receive World Heritage status in July

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via Vientiane Times, 04 Feb 2019: Laos expects that the Plain of Jars will be listed in the the World Heritage list later this year.

Good news is expected for Laos’ Plain of Jars (Thong Hai Hin) in July when UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meets to make a decision on the site’s status, a government official said last week.

Director General of the Heritage Department at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Thongbay Phothisan, said that after a lot of hard work to process the necessary paperwork, he hopes the Plain of Jars will soon be listed by UNESCO as Laos’ third World Heritage Site.

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos: Cave fossils shed light on the world of 80,000 years ago

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Source: Uffe Wilken, SEA-Globe 20190110

via SEA Globe, 10 January 2019: Feature on excavations of the oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia, found in Laos.

Source: Uffe Wilken, SEA-Globe 20190110

Source: Uffe Wilken, SEA-Globe 20190110

At 80,000 years old, some human fossils found in a cave in northeastern Laos are the oldest known remains of modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia. Together with fossils from animals, they give us a snapshot of life in this part of the world millennia ago

Source: Laos: Cave fossils shed light on the world of 80,000 years ago

Categories: Laos


On the trail of the great Henri Mouhot

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via Bangkok Post, 05 April 2018: Visiting Luang Prabang and finding the tomb of Henri Mouhot. I featured the tomb in one of my Instagram photos previously.

If you have been to Luang Prabang, you probably have climbed the 300 steps up Phousi, the hill that stands in the middle of the town. From the top, you can see not just the breadth and length of the former Lao capital and a Unesco World Heritage site but also the Mekong River a stone’s throw to the west and the smaller Khan River nearby to the east. The two waterways meet just north of Phousi.

Source: On the trail of the great Henri Mouhot

Categories: Laos


Govt, int’l partners review conservation of Vat Phou Champassak

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via Vientiane Times, 01 April 2018:

The Department of Heritage and international organisations met here this week to discuss ongoing projects to conserve and restore the temple ruins at Vat Phou Champassak.
The ancient temple’s protection and preservation must be undertaken to maintain its listing as a UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) world heritage site.

Source: Govt, int’l partners review conservation of Vat Phou Champassak | Vientiane Times

Categories: Laos


Videos > Plain of Jars Mystery

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via Archaeology Magazine

Photojournalist Jerry Redfern recently accompanied a team of archaeologists as they excavated at the Plain of Jars in Laos. This enigmatic landscape is filled with thousands of massive stone vessels, some fashioned more than 2,500 years ago. Redfern’s video explores how the team is searching for clues about who created these mysterious jars and what they were used for. To read an in-depth feature on excavations at the Plain of Jars, go to “Letter From Laos: A Singular Landscape.”

Source: Videos > Plain of Jars Mystery | Archaeology Magazine

Categories: Laos Video


Palm leaves to tablet as Lao manuscripts go online

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via ANN, 15 Feb 2018: The Digital Library of Lao Manuscripts is online and more accessible than ever.

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) – The nation’s heritage of palm leaf manuscripts is now available for everyone to read free of charge via their computer, tablet or mobile phone, Director of the National Library of Laos (NLL), Khanthamaly Yangnouvong said recently.

Source: Palm leaves to tablet as Lao manuscripts go online

Once-secret CIA records reveal gift of ancient stone jar

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via the Star Tribune, 01 October 2017: How a stone jar ended up in the United States during the Vietnam War.

Earlier this year, a researcher at Concordia University in St. Paul was combing through declassified CIA records and discovered an intriguing stone legacy of the Vietnam War.

At the height of the conflict, CIA Director Richard Helms received a gift from Gen. Vang Pao, leader of the Hmong forces fighting the CIA-led “secret war” in Laos.

It was a massive, ancient sandstone jar, one of hundreds that jut from the ground of the legendary Plain of Jars in northern Laos. At that time, Vang Pao’s army was fighting a bloody battle with the North Vietnamese on the plain, with U.S. bombers pounding the terrain and thousands of Laotians on the run.

Source: Once-secret CIA records reveal gift of ancient stone jar –

China’s plan for a commercial port at Luang Prabang

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Asia Times, 16 May 2017: A proposed Chinese plan to develop Luang Prabang into a commercial port that can accommodate 500-ton cargo ships has severe repercussions for the environment and cultural status of the World Heritage site.

China’s plan for the Mekong River envisions a big new commercial port at Luang Prabang, a United Nations designated World Heritage site and heart of the Lao tourism industry

Source: Lao cultural treasure faces river trade dilemma | Asia Times

Lecture: Sacred Caves of Tam Ting, Laos

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Readers in Canberra may be interested in this public lecture by Brian Egloff on the Pak Ou Caves at Luang Prabang, Laos.

Sacred Caves of Tam Ting (Pak Ou), Luang Prabang, Laos: Mystery, Splendor and Desecration

The discussion follows more than two decades of investigation and conservation at the Tam Ting Caves, a Lao national heritage monument. The talk is set within the context of the role of UNESCO and ICOMOS in the protection of World Heritage and the illicit trade in cultural property.

Egloff is but one of the many heritage professionals concerned with the conservation of Tam Ting including the Director General Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy, Benita Johnson the head of the conservation program from the University of Canberra, Samelane Luangaphay of the Department of Heritage, Bounarith of the National Art School, and Kristin Kelly co-author. Brian Egloff is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra and Honorary Associate Professor at The Australian National University. Past roles were Deputy Directory of the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery; Director of the Port Arthur Conservation and Development Project; Associate Professor, University of Canberra; President of ICOMOS ICAHM; and a major input with NSW Indigenous communities regarding their land rights

Members and the public are welcome: This is part of a series of talks organised by Australia ICOMOS. Please do pass this on to those who might be interested.

Refreshments are available appropriate to the talk’s topic! ($5.00 donation appreciated)

Time & Date: 5.00-7.00pm, Thursday 16 March 2017 – Note we start at 5.30pm

Venue – Menzies Room, National Archives of Australia, East Block, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes (enter from Kings Avenue side)
RSVP Marilyn Truscott: