Tam An Mah Cave Buried jar site, Luang Prabang province, Laos
“In January 2010, Joyce White, MMAP co-director Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth, and other scholars from the United States, Italy, Ireland, Australia, England, Thailand, the Philippines, and Laos conducted a short but intensive excavation at a rock shelter site named Tham An Mah (Horse Saddle Cave). This site had been used in historic times as a temple. Paintings of seated Buddas remained on the walls. Human and animal bones were found scattered on the ground and in niches in the rock…” Read More of Elizabeth Hamilton’s Expedition Article…
Update: Tuesday, January 8, 2013. Images from the site of Tam An Mah, showing some of the amazing things MMAP found in 2010–and the current disturbed state of the site.
Site review by Helen Lewis, University College, Dublin (UCD), 2010 Tham An Mah excavation director. UCD School of Archaeology is a collaborator in the joint project of UPenn Museum & the National Museum of Lao PDR that is exploring the archaeology of the Middle Mekong.
Above: (left) Dr. Joyce White of UPenn Museum with the first ceramic jar found by the project, its pit excavated. (center) The first jar we found was standing upright in the profile, in a pit. (right) When fully excavated, with the upper dirt taken out, we found three human skulls and other human remains, but no single entire body. Many jar burials in the area seem to represent a secondary deposition of previously buried, or sometimes cremated remains. Photos by MMAP and Amy Ellsworth
Tham An Mah: Sunday, January 6, 2013. Looting was reported to the National Museum not long after we had completed our test excavations, but it took us some time to be able to return to Tam An Mah and survey the extent of the damage. We are planning rescue sampling and recording of this and a second reported dug out known site in the vicinity.
For more information, please visit the MMAP website.