The Plain of Jars of Laos: Past, Present and Future

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New Law Seminar Room 100, New Law Building

Eastern Avenue

University of Sydney

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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Join us for a discussion of the Plain of Jars of Laos and its future following its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.


On 6 July 2019, in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Plain of Jars was inscribed as a World Heritage Monument: a unique testimony to a cultural tradition “which has disappeared”. For centuries, thousands of stone jars lay in splendid isolation, admired by villagers and the occasional European explorer. After the initial survey by Dr Madeleine Colani in 1931-1933, only now we begin to understand the complexities of the 100 sites spread over Xieng Khouang and Luang Prabang provinces. Nowadays the jars are viewed as a unique megalithic manifestation in Mainland Southeast Asia, rather than vessels “made by angels to drink liquors from”. What are the future prospects for these mysterious creations and what is the level of preparedness for the increased tourist visits that follow a nomination?


About the speaker:

Dr Lia Genovese obtained her PhD from SOAS University of London for a thesis on ‘The Plain of Jars of Laos - Beyond Madeleine Colani’. She is a part-time lecturer at Thammasat and Silpakorn Universities in Bangkok. Her fieldwork takes her to the Plain of Jars and other megalithic sites in the region. Her research covers French colonial archaeology, gender archaeology, cultural heritage and research methodologies. Lia is currently working on a biography of the French archaeologist Madeleine Colani. She is a Member of the Siam Society’s Lecture Committee and serves on the Organising Committee for the 2022 IPPA Conference.


This event is co-hosted with the University of Sydney's Department of Archaeology and Perspectives on the Past.

Photo credit: Department of Heritage

Please note that by registering for this event, you will automatically be subscribed to the SSEAC mailing list. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact sseac@sydney.edu.au.

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New Law Seminar Room 100, New Law Building

Eastern Avenue

University of Sydney

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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