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Iron Age burial found in Laos

The discovery of Iron Age remains in Laos is shedding new light on the regions prehistoric burial practices.

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 in the United States.

“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.

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