GBG Australia has pledged $60 000 worth of geophysical data collection and processing toward the Plain of Jars Archaeological Project, a joint Australian/Laos research project led by Archaeologists from ANU and Monash University. The research hopes to determine the role of the jars during the Iron Age, and eventually contribute to the site achieving UNESCO World Heritage status..
The first phase of geophysical work was completed in February 2016. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), electromagnetic induction and metal detection surveys were undertaken around the existing exposed jars.
Rocks buried in the soil were detected by the GPR survey and the subsequent archaeological excavation revealed these were marker stones locating buried remains. Skulls, limb bones, teeth and pottery have since been dug up.
Electromagnetic induction and metal detector surveys mainly found anomalies associated with fragmentation from the ordnance used in the area during the military conflict of the Vietnam war years.
A second phase of geophysical work at a different archaeological jar site is planned for late 2016.