Ancient skeleton found in central Vientiane

An ancient skeleton, possibly up to 2,000 years old, has been found in central Vientiane.

The skeleton, unearthed during road works along Setthathirath Road near Simeuang temple, is believed to be that of a middle-aged woman.

It has long been believed that Vientiane is full of ancient relics and artefacts lying possibly only 1 to 2m under the surface, and this is just the latest of several discoveries in the capital over the years.

A small artefact, potentially made of bronze, was found alongside the skeleton and is perhaps a rarer find than the skeleton itself.

It can only be speculated at this stage as to what the artefact is but it leads experts to believe the skeleton may date back to the bronze age and could be anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 years old.

Archaeologists examining the remains can tell from the skeleton that the woman had arthritis and was wrapped in cloth when buried, leading them to believe she may have been from a working class family.

The teeth of the women are also deteriorated which may indicate that she was of middle to elderly age. It could also be a younger woman who simply ate tough foods, which caused damage to her teeth.

The skeleton was found in what is believed to be a crematorium as it also contained the remains of an estimated 23 other people.

Only scattered bone fragments and teeth remain of the other specimens.

The skeleton is currently being studied at the Lao National Museum.