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On our planet, there are many places, which form a puzzle for scientists. One such place is Valley pitchers in the Laotian province of Xiang Khouang.
Amidst lush tropical vegetation are scattered thousands of giant stone vessels. The size of these jugs ranges from 0,5 m do 3 m height, and the weight of the largest of them comes to 6000 kg. Most of these giant pot has a cylindrical shape, but also meets oval and rectangular. Next to them were also discovered circular disks, likely used, as a cover for vessels. As the material for the manufacture of pitchers used granite, sandstone and other rocks.
Who and when made stone jugs?
The scientists have not yet able to determine the age of the product of human hands. And maybe not human ... Huge vessels are scattered on the vast space. If the group of giants went on a picnic and tight end messed up. It is believed, that vessels built between the fifth century BCE. and V age n.e. Currently in the valley we counted over 90 locations of pitchers, and in each of the locations is between one and 392 arts. Even more puzzling is the fact, that nearby there is no such rock types, from which they are made pitchers. A lug from afar sześciotonowe weights on mountain wilderness there was certainly easy. Nowadays they tried to move a pitcher with helicopter, but to no avail. How, therefore, advised to deal with transport without special measures?
There are many different theories about the origin of the mysterious Valley of the pitchers, here are some of them:
It is rather a legend, than theory. According to one of the Laotian legends, in this valley they lived a long-long time ago and huge dishes were just for them. According to another while, pitchers made king Khun Cheung after, She defeated in the war your enemies. Pitchers used to prepare huge amounts of lao lao rice wine to celebrate victory.
Some sources mention, that such vessels were found also in India and in Indonesia. Their location corresponds to the conduct of trade routes. Therefore, it is hypothesized, that the jars were made for merchants traveling from different countries. During the monsoon stone vessels gathered rainwater and the travelers and their animals could quench their thirst. Found near the beads and other objects to serve, as offerings to the gods asking for rain and filling water dish.
Interesting, the location next to one of the pitchers were discovered cave, which they were made two holes. Inside preserved human remains and ashes. As it seems, the cave served as a crematorium, and the holes were simply chimneys. The objects and the remains found in the jars indicate signs of cremation, while next to apparently buried without cremation of the dead. There are different interpretations of this fact.
- Bodies of the dead from the higher social strata burned, that their souls are gone to heaven, and the common people were buried in the ground, and their souls were to serve on the spot.
- The body of the deceased was placed in a jar, and after a period of time, when the soul is gone to another world, They burned it and buried again.
- Possible, that initially it buried in a vessel of one man, and with the passage of time around the jar buried his relatives.
The current state of the Valley pitchers
During the Vietnam War (1964-1973) US bombs heavily devastated this region of Laos. In the province of Xiang Khouang so far are hundreds of thousands of unexploded bombs and mines. Nay, many pitchers were destroyed, and access to other restricted and extremely dangerous. Clear the area of unexploded ordnance, this task are beyond the capabilities of the poor country.
Although they discovered a number of positions with stone pitchers, only three of them are available for visitors.
The first archaeological excavations in the Valley of pitchers led a French archaeologist Madeleine Colani in the thirties of the twentieth century. it considered, that gigantic products are the work of a very old civilization and have been used for ritual purposes in an urn for the ashes of deceased. According to another theory pitchers were used to store food and other measures.
On the other hand, a group of scientists led by Dr Dougald'a O'Reilly recently discovered in that region of human remains, whose age has been estimated 2,5 a thousand years. This led archaeologists to think, that the valley was a kind of morgue. Stone vessels were used to make them dead bodies - scientists believe. When after some time the other of which only the bone, These eventually they buried in the ground.
This version explains the presence of human remains in the valley and seems to be probable. Also destiny jars to collect rainwater for hikers sounds quite reasonable. No theory, however, does not respond to other questions: Why pitchers are carved out of the rocks, that in this region there is no (m.in. granite)? How they transported so huge weights (some more than three tons) without advanced technology? (S.K.)