Fields of Giant Stone Jars: Laos’ Plain of Jars

By | November 19, 2018

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Plain of Jars. (Photo by Chau Doan/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In the Xiangkhoang Plateau in Laos, there are fields littered with thousands of giant stone jars, call the Plain of Jars. These odd stone vessels are unlike any others on earth and date back to the Iron Age, between 500 BC and 500 AD. It seems odd that fields of this southeast Asian country would have so many prehistoric relics, yet the jars remain a fixture of the landscape. Just what was the purpose of these enormous stone jars? What have archeologists learned about these strange artifacts? Let’s take a closer look at Laos’ Plain of Jars. 

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The Jars Are Carved Stone

The giant jars dotting the Laos landscape are all carved out of stone found nearby. The all have roughly the same shape…a cylinder that is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. Although the height of the jars varies, the diameter averages between 1 and 3 meters. Some of the larger stone jars weigh as much as 30 tons. Some of the jars have round, disc-like lids perched on top of them and others have lids located nearby.