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The forest is filled with giant stone jars

IndiaA team of researchers found countless jars hewn from monolithic rock in the jungle, but it is unclear what purpose they were used or why they were buried.

Stone jars in the forest in Assam.  Photo: Tilok Thakuria

Stone jars in the forest in Assam. Photo: Tilok Thakuria

Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) discovered the forest in Dima Hasao province, Assam, India, while surveying the area in 2020. Strange limestone jars buried underground were discovered. first in Assam in the early 1900s, but was not systematically documented until the mid-2010s, according to research published in the journal Asian Archeology. During the 2020 survey, the team found four megalithic jars. Initially, they planned to examine the known area in Assam, but as they began to explore the jungle, they found more and more limestone jars.

In the past, ancient stone jars have been found in many other countries, including Indonesia and Laos. The researchers suggest that the Assam area is related to the field of jars in Laos, located about 805 kilometers southeast. In Laos, some stone jars are huge, up to 3 m high and 2 m wide. These jars contain cremated remains, proving that they were created to bury the dead.

Study author Nicholas Skopal said that in Assam, they have only excavated close to the ground and certainly the more they search, the more jars will increase. Skopal et al have not dated the Assam stone jars, but the Laos stone jars date back to 1,000 BC. They don’t know if the two areas belong to the same culture or if there are new populations moving to the area.

The team was able to date the Assam rock jars using sediment sampling and analysis to see when sunlight last reached there. After knowing the age of the stone jars in Assam, they can explain whether the civilization moved from Laos to Assam or vice versa. The stone jars lay out in the open, and over the years the contents were taken away.

Skopal and his team hope to find more intact jars in more remote areas to learn more about their intended use and why they were buried. According to him, in some locations, small jars are buried around larger jars. They appear to have been hewn out of rock. There is evidence of a quarry in Assam, but the stone used to make jars may have come from river or stream beds. Possibly hundreds of men were mobilized to pull the rock or push with pulleys.

The team is planning to return to Assam to search for more before the stone jar is lost due to deforestation for cultivation.

An Khang (According to Newsweek)

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