In Photos: Exploring the Mysterious Plain of Jars Site
The archaeologists from Laos and Australia spent four weeks in February 2016 mapping and excavating the ground around a group of the massive carved stone jars that dot the landscape at Jar Site 1
An aerial drone photograph of stone jars and marker stones at Jar Site 1
Thonglith Luangkhoth, an archaeologist in Laos, inspects the primary burial site discovered at Jar Site 1
This is a view of the primary burial site discovered at Jar Site 1. The quartz-rich stone is aligned so the skull appears to look out through the hole.
The Jar Site 1 site, photographed from one of the excavation trenches.
Thonglith Luangkhoth (left) and Dougald O’Reilly (far right) excavating a secondary burial site. O'Reilly led a team of scientists on the joint Laos-Australian expedition to the Plain of Jars.
The researchers also uncovered 11 ceramic jars, which are expected to contain "secondary" burials of human bones from which the flesh was removed. Here, archaeologists at Jar Site 1 record details of the ceramic secondary burial jars.
The contents of the ceramic jars excavated from the site will also be carefully examined to confirm if, as the researchers suspect, they hold human remains.
The aerial landscape images and other data from research at the Plain of Jars have been integrated into an advanced 3D simulation at the Cave2 virtual reality facility at Monash University. The simulation lets researchers in Australia view and explore the images and other data from the different research efforts within the Plain of Jars Archeological Project.
The Cave2 simulation also records a timeline that can be stepped forward or back to show the state of the excavations at any time, and which will be updated as the digs and discoveries at the Plain of Jars continue at Site 1 and other jar sites in the years to come.