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Archaeo News 

24 January 2010
Prehistoric burial customs uncovered in Laos

The discovery of Iron Age human bone fragments in Laos has shed new light on the region's prehistoric burial customs. A team of Lao and foreign archeologists found the fragments last week in a burial ground believed to be about 2,000 years old when South-East Asia was in the Iron Age. The discovery was made during a dig known as the Middle Mekong Archaeological Project, which is a joint effort between Laos' Department of Heritage and the University of Pennsylvania Museum (USA).
     "Last week, we unexpectedly found two skulls and a fragment of a third, a baby, along with some body bones," said Joyce White, associate curator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. "It is quite a significant discovery of Lao archaeology." Also among the items found was a burial pot containing human bones, which was the first such example of a secondary burial, or the custom of dismembering a corpse and removing all flesh so the bones could be placed in a container. Although the practice was common in neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, this was the first evidence of a secondary burial in what is now Laos.

Source: Earth Times (22 January 2010)

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