Journal article

Excavating among the megaliths: recent research at the ‘Plain of Jars’ site 1 in Laos

Louise Shewan

Antiquity: a quarterly review of archaeology | Cambridge University Press (CUP) | Published : 2019


The date and significance of the megalithic jar sites of central Laos are comparatively poorly understood features of the Southeast Asian archaeological landscape. First explored systematically in the 1930s, only limited research on these sites has been undertaken since. This article presents the recent excavations at Ban Ang - or site 1 - a megalithic jar site of nearly 400 jars, located in Xieng Khouang Province. The results confirm the findings of earlier research, but additionally reveal a range of mortuary practices, high rates of infant and child mortality, and new evidence dating these interments to the ninth to thirteenth centuries AD.

University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the Australian Research Council for funding support and the Lao government for their support and cooperation. Thanks also to Gina Palefsky for assistance with skeletal analysis, and to Jamie Speer of GBG Australia. Shewan and O'Reilly were equal first authors on this paper.