The world is a much bigger place than I know. How can I have missed these fascinating remains of an ancient society in Laos? Probably because the sites are so remote, not to mention still peppered with unexploded Vietnam War bombs, that you’re not likely to find a trip arranged for tourists.
Carved stone jars around 2,500 years old… [perhaps] used by an Iron Age civilization to expose their dead relatives to the elements for a period of time before the bones were cleaned and buried.
Remains of elaborate human burials have been found at some of the jar sites… archaeologists aren’t sure if the jars were made for the purpose of the burials or if the burials were performed later.
Some of these stone jars are truly enormous, and since no written records have been found, local people speculate. Perhaps a race of giants used them to brew rice alcohol, or maybe they were used to store water. Some studies connect the giant jars’ locations with ancient trade routes.
Perhaps ancient burial practices are reflected in modern traditions.
In contemporary funerary practices followed by Thai, Cambodian and Laotian royalty, the corpse of the deceased is placed into an urn during the early stages of the funeral rites, at which time the soul of deceased is believed to be undergoing gradual transformation from the earthly to the spiritual world. The ritual decomposition is later followed by cremation and secondary burial. wikipedia
Archaeologists from Laos and Australia continue to discover and study more of these jar-sites. livescience.com