Plain Of Jars, Laos Week 8 13th June 2011
The attraction of Phonsavan is the Plain of Jars.

They are carved out of solid rock.

There's a few stories about their origin.

Archeologic consensus seems to be part of burial process.

The jars are in clusters.

Phonsavan is in a large valley.

More than 50 sites are spread around.

This is part of the imaginitively named Site 1. 

Some of them have a ridge around the top.
We think this lid has been placed on top later.

Its thought that the original lids were perishable.

This disc would have been on the ground as a burial marker.

Different sites are made of different stone. Sandstone, granite, limestone, even conglomerates, were used.
During the "secret war" this part of Lao was extensively bombed by the US.

We aren't experts. There were Pathet Lao and Vietcong in the area.

No excuse though (in our humble opinion) for the mess the US left behind.

This white marker indicates that "all" unexploded ordnance (UXO) has been cleared to the left of the marker. A mammoth job,

There were 127 pieces of UXO cleared from a few acres of this site 1. 

The view from the top of the hill next to site 1.
Phonsavan is in the distance.
The cleared area is where I'm standing to take the photo.

The area the other side of the marker has been cleared of surface UXO. But not buried stuff.

I guess its safe to dig the garden.

Our two intrepid adventurers next to some jars.

The photo was taken by a passing Lao tourist from Vientiane.

Measuring Ali up for her burial urn!
We finally saw the ubiquitous baskets being put to use.

Carrying rice seedings for planting.

At site 2 we saw a rectangular jar.
And a different top part.

The ridges on the outside are presumably erosion from rain.

A burial marker, not a lid.

The icon in the center is apparently a frog, though we have our doubts.

Site 3 involved a walk across the paddy fields.

We walked along the dry bits in between the fields.

This gentleman was up to his knees in mud.

More jars at site 3.
We haven't seen much wildlife in Lao or Cambodia.

When we think about it we also haven't seen many insects. There are more in Aus.

It may be the time of year but its certainly not the mosquito infested tropic we had been warned about.

This dragonfly stopped for a convenient rest.

On the hillside opposite site 3 is the modern day Lao equivalent of burial monuments.
We headed home not too long after midday.

So did the local workers having started early and finished their shift in the rice fields before the day got to its hottest part.

Although we are at 1000m the temperatures are still in the low 30s deg C.

And our campsite for the night.

In the grounds of the Mew XiengKhouang Hotel.

Walking distance to the center of town.

Louang Prabang to Boten, Laos Week 8 14th - 17th June 2011

Geralyn Tue, 12 Jul 11 07:44:00 +1000
Action requires knoewglde, and now I can act!

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