Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Valley of Jugs In Laos

The valley of jugs - an archaeological monument in Laos, in Xianhuang province. It's thousands of big stone jugs at the foot of the Annamite range dividing Laos and Vietnam.

The size of the jugs varies from 0,5 to 3 meters, their weight reaches 6000 kg and they are about 1500-2000 years old. Now it's being discussed whether to give this place the status of the World Heritage of the UNESCO. The situation is getting more complicated due to the fact that Xianhuang province underwent serious American bombing in the 70s during the so-called "Secret War". That's the reason why the considerable part of the valley is not open for tourists.

Archaeоlogists believe that the jugs were used 1500-2000 years ago by the ancient people who lived in South-East Asia and whose culture remains to be absolutely unknown. The material dates back to 500-800 years BC. Anthropologists and historians suppose that the jugs were used either like funeral urns or to store water.   

The biggest group of the jugs not far from Phonsavan city is called the First Site, it has about 250 jugs of vaious sizes. They lay among unexploded shells so only three sites are open for visitors, entering other sites is considered to be dangerous.

Laotian legends say that in this valley there lived giants. Other legends say that king Khun Chyn won his enemies and ordered to make the jugs for rice wine Lao Lao.

During the Civil war Americans damaged the cave by bombing and since then the valley has been keeping many unexploded shells. After the war the research in the valley became limited due to the risk of explosion.

Landscapes around

via ljpoisk

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