Madeleine Colani published her ground breaking two-volume tome Megaliths du Haut-Laos in 1935. The work remains the authoritative document on the mysterious stone jars found in northern Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Recently (2019), a translation of the work, originally published in French, was released. Madeleine Colani’s Megaliths of Upper Laos is an 812-page work including plates and addenda that catalogues and describes the enigmatic stone jars and menhirs found in central Laos. The translation was done by the late Mr James Grieve who passed soon after the publication of the book.
The work is divided into two parts, the first dealing with the menhirs of Hua Pan Province, Laos. The second part addresses the stone jars and associated worked stone discs of Xiang Khouang Province. The book discusses the relative ages of the menhirs and jars and the associated industries and artefacts found in relation to these sites. Colani examines the trade in salt in prehistoric times and comparisons between the jars found in Laos and those discovered in Annam, India. Colani’s original text is enhanced with more recent research undertaken by the Co-editors, Dr Louise Shewan and Dr Dougald O’Reilly.