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

5) Monuments and rock art comparable to those in other regions of Tibet

Comparative study of Upper Tibetan archaeological assets, with their counterparts in Central Tibet and Eastern Tibet, is another tool for ascertaining relative age and cultural affiliations. Unfortunately, very little reliable chronometric data has yet been assembled for archaic residential and ceremonial sites located in other regions of Tibet. Moreover, comprehensive archaeological surveys have yet to be launched outside Upper Tibet. The poorly organized archeological data compiled in other regions of the plateau impedes studies based on cross-referenced archaeological comparisons. As a result, the extent and nature of paleo-cultural affinities between Upper Tibet and Central Tibet and other regions of the plateau have not been adequately determined.

In Upper Tibet and Central Tibet, quadrate burial tumuli with inwardly sloping walls were built in the early historic period and most probably in the prehistoric epoch as well. However, the all-stone corbelled residential edifices and pillar monuments that define the Upper Tibetan paleo-cultural territory are not represented in Central Tibet. KhamKhams and AmdoA mdo have varying assemblages of monuments (these are still not well catalogued). Nevertheless, the pastoral regions of AmdoA mdo were host to a rock art tradition that is thematically and stylistically related to that of Upper Tibet. The areal variability marking archaeological assets is acknowledged in the Tibetan historical tradition, which assigns prehistoric Central Tibet and DokhamMdo khams to different proto-tribal or quintessential groupings. Central Tibet is recorded as being dominated by Bod, KhamKhams by MinyakMi nyag, and AmdoA mdo by AzhaA zha.


[6] This section of the work was derived from Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.

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.