Lao History Stories—Towards Multivocality in History Writing
Anna Karlström

Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Uppsala University



The history of a country sometimes has a tendency to start with the establishment of a state or states in that particular area. The idea of a unified nation, where nation borders were much the same as those today, and the idea of a people, unified by and homogenous within that nation are essential in the conceptualization of a country’s history. The formation of Lane Xang kingdom in the mid 14th century is often set as the starting point for the history of Laos.

In this paper I will use the results from last years’ archaeological fieldwork in Vientiane Province to discuss what happens when myths and legends concerning origin and history of Laos, and archaeological research including survey and excavation meet. In this case they meet in Viengkham, a site which to some extent were significant in the formation of Lane Xang kingdom, but also indicates a continuity of human activity and early state formation from the 7th to 8th century.