Historic pottery discovered in Savannakhet

Somxay Sengdara

SAVANNAKHET (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Around nineteen historic pottery items have been found in Savannakhet province’s Vilabouly district in the past two weeks, with experts estimating the uncovered handicraft items are around 300 years old.

The items were found around 2.5 kilometres from That Nang Lao village in the district when a local resident stumbled upon the 16 artefacts in a cave on March 29 while foraging for bamboo shoots in the forest.

Three additional artefacts were also found on April 4 in a pothole like a bore well nearby according to an official from the district’s Office of Information, Culture and Tourism Mr Bounnhang Souvannasing.

He said the found items included jars, mortars and other different shaped pottery along with a steel chisel.

He explained the big jars had raised dragon images emblazoned on them and were very hard, much more so than ordinary earthenware pottery. The discovered artefacts have been relocated by the authority to a safe place in the local community.

According to the local expert, the artefacts may have a relation with the history of That Nang Lao (Nang Lao Stupa), which housed the remains of the female administrator of the Meuangvang-Angkham area at that time.

Local folklore has it that long ago Meuangvang-Angkham lacked a head for the local administration and to find someone for the position local people had an audience with King Anouvong, who subsequently appointed his wife (who was known locally Nang Lao or Lao Lady) to rule the land.

Vilabouly district has been the scene of several artefact discoveries in recent years, which archaeologists say proves Laos is not only a developing country, but a nation with a long and rich history.

Ancient mine shafts suspected to be thousands of years old were found at the Sepon Gold and Copper Operations on 11 April 2009. The artefacts were discovered while miners were excavating the Khanong copper pitch which is near the known historic site called the ‘Dragon Field’ (Thong Na Ngeuk ).

A magnificent bronze drum and axe dating back at least two thousand years were also found in the Xepon area while the company’s UXO team was searching for bombs, which proved that the Dragon Field was part of the Silk Road. Many common household items and domestic utensils have also been found on the site.