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.