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.

I.1. Residential Structures Occupying Summits: Fortresses, breastworks, religious buildings, palaces, and related edifices

Sherang KharlungShe rang mkhar lung

Basic site data

  • Site name: Sherang KharlungShe rang mkhar lung
  • Site number: A-87
  • Site typology: I.1x
  • Elevation: 4710 m
  • Administrative location (township): DerokSde rog
  • Administrative location (county): RutokRu thog
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: May 23, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS I, HAS A1
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

Sherang KhargokShe rang mkhar gog is a small stronghold located on top of a rocky spur, overlooking the confluence of the SherangShe rang and KharlungMkhar lung valleys. These are effluents of the RusumRu gsum, a valley system rich in archaic cultural horizon archaeological sites (see A-84, A-85, A-86, A-88, A-89, B-34, B-35, B-36, B-79, B-80, B-81). This inherently defendable stronghold is suspended in the crags, 110 m above the valley floor. The site coincides with the demarcation of the upper extent of agriculture in the SherangShe rang valley and the higher pastoral lands. Like KharpochéMkhar po che (A-86), Posa KharSpo sa mkhar (A-84) and other summit installations in DerokSde rog township, this fortress must have been established to rule over and protect a local community.

Oral tradition

According to residents of RusumRu gsum, Sherang KhargokShe rang mkhar gog was a Kel MönSkal mon (an aboriginal tribe) castle.

Site elements

Castle

The easiest access to the facility is via the north side of the ridge-spur. The stronghold (10.8 m by 5.8 m) was built at two levels. In most places it has been reduced to its revetments and footings. The maximum height of the revetments is 2 m. The higher south tier is separated from the north tier by a 1.5 m vertical rise. The ingression is in the north, between walls inset 2 m into the structure, creating an inlet. This design feature is reminiscent of the entryways of Hala KharHa la mkhar West (A-58) and Naktsuk KharNag gtsug mkhar (A-57), in GugéGu ge. The outer opening of this inlet is 1.8 m in width and the inner access is 90 cm across. The vertical distance between the outer and inner thresholds of the ingress is 1.5 m, thus stairs must have been built to span this height. The heavy walls of the inlet rise to an elevation of 2 m. The entry between the two levels of the building is in the west and is set in an interclose, 1.8 m in length. An 80 cm long threshold stone stretches across this entrance. Most of the mud-mortar has washed out of the random-rubble walls. A bluish metamorphic stone, which has weathered to a brown color, was used in construction. These roughly dressed stones are primarily 20 cm to 70 cm in length, and the walls are around 50 cm in thickness.

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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.