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.2. Residential Structures in Other Locations: Religious and Elite Residences

KyangtangRkyang thang

Basic site data

  • Site name: KyangtangRkyang thang
  • English equivalent: Onager Plain
  • Site number: B-86
  • Site typology: I.1x
  • Elevation: 4310 m
  • Administrative location (township): Damzhung’Dam gzhung
  • Administrative location (county): Damzhung’Dam gzhung
  • Survey expedition: HTWE
  • Survey date: May 7, 2004
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS IX
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

KyangtangRkyang thang is located on the edge of a broad shelf of the same name, which is suspended just above the northern margin of the Dam’Dam basin. KyangtangRkyang thang also sits above the south bank of the NyachuNya chu, which runs 20 m below it. The core of the site consists of an undulating rocky dispersion (130 m by 55 m), which is elevated 1 m to 2 m above the surrounding terrain. This dispersion is marked by rock-filled mounds and depressions. South of the KyangtangRkyang thang dispersion there is an extensive zone of abandoned agricultural fields. These fields cover the KyangtangRkyang thang shelf and adjoining areas. The roots of old retaining walls divide the defunct fields into neatly delineated parcels. The agrarian nature of these fields is confirmed by the local oral tradition. There is an abandoned Communist period homestead at KyangtangRkyang thang. As a rule, drokpa’brog pa do not like to live amid derelict ancient settlements.

Oral tradition

According to local sources, KyangtangRkyang thang was a settlement destroyed by the Jungarjun gar (early 18th century CE).

Site elements

What appear to be the coherent footings of buildings are found in the middle part of the KyangtangRkyang thang dispersion. These two fragments measure 13 m and 2.5 m in length and are around 60 cm in thickness. There are also integral wall fragments at the southwest end of the dispersion. On the north end of the site there are stone ringed depressions, which appear to be the remnants of a dense cluster of building foundations. The KyangtangRkyang thang dispersion indicates that a highly compact settlement once stood here (unlike the modern pastoral settlements in the Dam’Dam basin, which are composed of diffuse residences). KyangtangRkyang thang has similar morphological qualities to the dispersion in the lower sector of KyelungSkye lung and LungsumLung gsum (D-4).


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.