Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

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

II.1. Stelae and accompanying structures: Funerary and non-funerary structures

Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring

Basic site data

  • Site name: Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring
  • English equivalent: Northern Division Long-stones
  • Site number: C-85
  • Site typology: II.1b, II.2x
  • Elevation: 4700 m
  • Administrative location (township): ladrangBla brang
  • Administrative location (county): Drongpa’Brong pa
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: April 14, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS XI, HAS C6
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring is located near the southern effluent of the TsachuTshwa chu, an important tributary of the Yarlung TsangpoYar lung gtsang po in Drongpa’Brong pa. The site consists of two pillar installations spaced roughly 300 m apart. While Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring has no contemporary religious function, pieces of milky quartz scattered around both enclosures suggest an earlier ritual usage of the site.

Oral tradition

Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring and other Doringrdo ring sites in the same general area (upper Yarlung TsangpoYar lung gtsang po drainage basin) are considered the haunts of elemental spirits such as the tsenBtsan. These pillar complexes are thought to have appeared with the emergence of the universe. According to one local source, they were built by the dré’Dre demons. Other area drokpa’brog pa refer to them as MönMon tombs (möndurmon dur).

Site elements

Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring East

The larger Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring East complex is built on level ground in the middle of a broad valley (30° 02.546΄ N. lat. / 83° 47.439΄ E. long.). The soil is thin and rocky and partially covered in tundra. The complex is endowed with wide views to east and west.

Enclosure

The well-preserved square enclosure is not well aligned in the cardinal directions. It measures 13 m to 13.5 m on each of its four sides. The robustly built superficial walls of the enclosure are 60 cm to 70 cm thick and are composed of stones up to 70 cm in length. Upright stones in the enclosure protrude as much as 25 cm above the ground surface. In the center of the east wall there is a small opening formed by large stones that lie perpendicular to the wall course.

Pillars

Ten in situ standing stones form an 8 m long row situated about 1 m from the inner edge of the west wall (the least well preserved wall of the enclosure). The tall thin pillars were roughly hewn from the same blue-gray stone used to build the enclosure. The pillars host some orange climax lichen. From north to south, the dimensions and characteristics of these menhirs are as follows:

  1. Long-stone DR1: irregularly shaped (1.3 m [height] by 1 m [basal girth]).
  2. Long-stone DR2: tabular (80 cm by 1 m).
  3. Long-stone DR3: four-sided (80 cm by 75 cm).
  4. Long-stone DR4: tabular, inclined (1.7 m by 1.1 m).
  5. Long-stone DR5: tabular, severely inclined (2 m by 1.2 m).
  6. Long-stone DR6: four-sided, severely inclined (2 m by 1 m).
  7. Long-stone DR7: three-sided (1.9 m by 1.1 m).
  8. Long-stone DR8: four-sided (1.8 m by 1 m).
  9. Long-stone DR9: irregularly shaped, inclined (1 m by 1 m).
  10. Long-stone DR10: four-sided, severely inclined (1.7 m by 1 m).

In addition to the ten in situ pillars there are six more specimens in the same row that are broken near ground level. About 10 m west of the west wall of the enclosure there is a structure (2.5 m by 2.5 m) that is nearly flush with the ground surface. Its construction indicates that it is an integral part of the pillar complex. This structure appears to be a funerary superstructure of some kind.

Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring West

Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring West was built on ground that gently rises to the west (30° 02.466 N. lat. / 83° 47.313΄ E. long.). The soil cover is poor and the views to the east are not as expansive as those from Jangdé DoringByang sde rdo ring East.

Enclosure

The enclosure is not well aligned in the cardinal directions. It measures 11 m (east-west) by 5.5 m (north-south). A good portion of all four walls of the enclosure have survived. These less robustly constructed superficial walls are around 50 cm thick and composed of stones 40 cm or less in length. The stones protrude up to 10 cm above the ground surface.

Pillars

Four undressed pillars stand near the inner edge of the west wall of the enclosure, forming a row 2 m in length. These standing stones sport some orange climax lichen. From south to north, the dimensions and characteristics of the pillars are as follows:

  1. Long-stone DR1: four-sided (90 cm by 1 m).
  2. Long-stone DR2: tabular (90 cm by 1.2 m).
  3. Long-stone DR3: four-sided (80 cm by 70 cm).
  4. Long-stone DR4: irregularly shaped (90 cm by 80 cm).
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Note Citation for Page

John Vincent Bellezza, (Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010), .

Bibliographic Citation

John Vincent Bellezza. . Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010.