Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Antiquities of Zhang Zhung
by John Vincent Bellezza
Edited by Geoffrey Barstow, Mickey Stockwell and Michael White
Tibetan & Himalayan Library
Published under the THL Digital Text License.

3. Criteria Used in the Determination of Archaic Archaeological Sites6

3) Monuments exhibiting early design, constructional and morphological features

An excellent indicator of the archaic status of archaeological monuments in Upper Tibet is the presence of distinguishing features in substance and form. These physical properties reflect different architectural conceptions and modes of execution than those exhibited by familiar Lamaist monuments. Of special note are the various funerary pillars (menhirs) and necropoli of Upper Tibet. These types of monuments embody distinctive forms of abstraction and construction which do not appear to have been adopted by Lamaist adherents. A different religious ethos required an alternative assemblage of monuments: rather than large burial complexes, Buddhism and systematized BönBon saw fit to cover the landscape with chötenmchod rten (a type of shrine) and walls with inscribed plaques, which are of a different order of architectural magnitude. In the domain of residential monuments, great structural contrasts are seen between the all-stone corbelled edifices of early times and BönBon and Buddhist buildings built with high walls and wooden rafters. Aside from the very different methods and materials used in construction, the former structures are small-chambered, windowless and semi-subterranean, while Lamaist halls and temples have larger rooms and frequently windows or skylights, and are set prominently above the ground.


Notes

[6] This section of the work was derived from Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
/bellezza/a2-3-3/

Note Citation for Page

John Vincent Bellezza, Antiquities of Zhang Zhung: A Comprehensive Inventory of Pre-Buddhist Archaeological Monuments on the Tibetan Upland (Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010), .

Bibliographic Citation

John Vincent Bellezza. Antiquities of Zhang Zhung: A Comprehensive Inventory of Pre-Buddhist Archaeological Monuments on the Tibetan Upland. Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010.