Guwahati: Researchers from Guwahati University and Northeast Hills University (NEHU) and Australia have discovered giant “mysterious” jars in Assam that may have been used for ancient human burial practices.

The 65 sandstone jars of different sizes were found scattered over four sites in Assam.

Some of the jars are tall and cylindrical, while the others are partly or fully buried in the ground, BBC said in a report.

The details of the findings were published in the Journal of Asian Archaeology journal recently.

The research team was led by Tilok Thakuria from Shillong-based NEHU and Uttam Bathari from Gauhati University.

“We still don’t know who made the giant jars or where they lived. It’s all a bit of a mystery,” said Nicholas Skopal, a researcher at the Australian National University who was part of the research team.

“Although it is still not clear what the giant jars were used for, the researchers believe they were “likely associated with mortuary practices,” he said.

Skopal said there are stories from the Naga people (an ethnic group in north-eastern India) of finding the Assam jars filled with cremated remains, beads and other material artifacts.

Dr Thakuria said that “presently the jars are empty”, and they were once possibly covered with lids.

Similar sites were spotted in Assam and neighbouring Meghalaya in the past, researchers said.

He said that some 10 sites containing more than 700 jars have been uncovered in Assam so far, which date back to before 400 BC.

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