The large stone jars at the ‘Plain of Jars’ in eastern Laos have for years been the subject of archaeological study. In Xieng Kuang province, these large stone urns are scattered across a flat but beautiful landscape across a number of sites, yet little is known about their origins or where the purpose for which they were made. The most popular theory put forward to date holds that the jars were used as funery urns to hold the ashes of interred humans, yet there is little to support this supposition aside from the discovery of skeletal remains near a small number of the jars. A visit to the Plain of Jars makes allows travellers to draw their own conclusions about these mysterious objects.
During the Indochina wars the Plain of Jars was heavily bombed, and was the site of fierce conflict between Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese communists, and the American-supported Royal Lao and Hmong hill tribe armies. Visitors to the Plain of Jars can also see evidence of this conflict – in bomb crater-marked fields, and in the frequent use of munitions shell casings as fence posts, flower pots, and house wall supports.