VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Funeral Jar
vienat.005
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

There is only one jar in a museum. All others are outside on the Plain of Jars.

History of the Object
These jars are found in the North of Laos on the so-called "Plain of Jars." It is believed that the people who made the Plain of Jars were iron-using descendants of the people of the standing stone burials in Hua Phan Province. There is similarity in the grave offerings and also a resemblance between the stone discs that covered the entrances to the grave shafts in Hua Phan. The jars contained human skeletal remains, some burnt, alongside beads, bronze rings and bangles. It is thought that perhaps the dead were first interred in the giant stone urns (jars) which gave the Plain its name. The jars are sealed with carved lids, later disinterred, cremated and then buried in earthenware jars. They were often decorated with motifs such as cats, stars, or raised arm figures, which modern Lao call “frog-men”. There are seven main sites with jars, covering a wide area. Some sites have just a few jars and others several hundred in varying states. Many were damaged or destroyed during wars and the area is still heavily contaminated with mines or unexploded bombs.

Map Of Museums

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Type
Other 
Materials
Earthenware 
Measurements
diameter 127 cm. 
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Laos 
Geography
Laos 
Time period
BCE 20th century ~ BCE 10th century 
Creation date
2000 BC- 1000 BC ; megalithic civilisation 
Function
burial 
Acquisition
This jar was acquired by the museum in 1980. It was transported from the Plain of Jars to the museum. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
The State of Laos 
Museum
Laos National Museum 
Credit line
 

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