The Antiquities of Zhang Zhung

The Antiquities of Zhang Zhung

Antiquities of Zhang Zhung

Monastery Ruins at Utsé Khar
Introduction: The Archaic Archaeological Sites of Upper Tibet

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Zhang Zhung Survey Expeditions 1992 - 2008

2008: Tibet Expedition (TIB)
In 2008, on the Tibet Expedition (TIB), I focused on several archaeological sites located around Namtso (gnam mtsho).
2007: Wild Yak Lands Expedition (WYLE)
In 2007, on the Wild Yak Lands Expedition (WYLE) (45 days in length), I reconnoitered parts of the northern Jangtang (byang thang) and documented a handful of archaic sites in Gugé (gu ge) and other locations.
2006: Tibet Highland Expedition (THE)
In the spring of 2006, I completed the basic survey work, a 12-year long enterprise. Known as the Tibet Highland Expedition (THE), the object of this 46-day 2006 excursion was to carry out reconnaissance in the northern Jangtang (byang thang), and to visit a few outstanding archaeological sites.
2006: Tibet Ice Lakes Expedition (TILE)
In the winter of 2006, I conducted the four-week long Tibet Ice Lakes Expedition (TILE) in order to reach six islands in four different lakes. By traversing the frozen surfaces of the lakes, I was able to survey Se mo do (Gnam mtsho), Do rta sga and Do dril bu (Da rog mtsho), Mtsho do (Ngang la ring mtsho), and Do ser and Do smug (La ngag mtsho).
2005: Tibet Upland Expedition (TUE)
In 2005, I embarked on the 45-day long Tibet Upland Expedition (TUE), in order to survey sites across the breadth of much of Upper Tibet not reached on earlier campaigns. By continually making forays, I have been able to close the gaps in the geographic coverage of the region. Slowly but surely, I have now visited most of the major basins and valleys of Upper Tibet south of the 33rd parallel.
2004: High Tibet Welfare Expedition (HTWE)
In 2004, I launched a three-month mission to Upper Tibet called the High Tibet Welfare Expedition (HTWE). The HTWE was carried out with the purpose of reconnoitering areas of Upper Tibet not previously visited or where more inquiry was required. The main areas for research and exploration included ’Dam gzhung, G.yag pa, southern Mtsho gnyis, Dang ra g.yu mtsho, Mtsho chen, Bse ’khor, Gzhung pa, Ru thog, Sgar, and Rtsa mda’.
2003: High Tibet Antiquities Expedition (HTAE)
In 2003, I conducted exploration on the High Tibet Antiquities Expedition (HTAE), which lasted just 48 days. On the HTAE, around 40 archaeological sites were documented by traveling more than 8000 km by motor vehicle. The geographic focus of exploration was the border areas situated in Ru thog, Rtsa mda’ and Spu rang, the first access to many of these sectors by an outsider in 60 years.
2002: High Tibet Circle Expedition (HTCE)
In 2002, I set off on the High Tibet Circle Expedition (HTCE), which was of four months duration as well. This expedition yielded information on more than 100 archaeological sites, the overwhelming majority of which had never been documented. On the HTCE, I covered 13,200 km by motor vehicle, and trekked considerable distances on foot and on horseback. The main thrust of exploration included Bar yangs, La snga mtsho, Gangs rin po che, Za rang, Ru thog, northern Sger rtse, Ngang la ring mtsho, Mtsho chen, Dang ra g.yu mtsho, the Rta rgo range, and Bar tha.
2001: Upper Tibet Antiquities Expedition (UTAE)
In 2001, I launched the four-month long Upper Tibet Antiquities Expedition (UTAE), which clocked around 8500 km in vehicles and significant distances on foot and on horseback. On the UTAE, 90 archaeological sites were documented in Bar yangs, Spu rang, Khyung lung, Gu ge lho smad, Chu gsum, Rgod tshang, northern Ru thog, Nag tshang rong dmar, and Dang ra g.yu mtsho.
2001: Shang Shung Institute Expedition (SSI)
2000: Upper Tibet Circumnavigation Expedition (UTCE)
1999: Changthang Circuit Expedition (CCE)
1998: Changthang Phase II Expedition, year two (CPE2)
1997: Changthang Phase II Expedition, year one (CPE1)
1995: Divine Dyads Expedition, year two (DDE2)
1994: Divine Dyads Expedition, year one (DDE1)
1992: Four Fountains of Tibet Expedition (FFTE)