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

Zhingsa DoringZhing sa rdo ring

Basic site data

  • Site name: Zhingsa DoringZhing sa rdo ring
  • English equivalent: Farm Fields Long-stones
  • Site number: C-114
  • Site typology: II.1b, II.2x
  • Elevation: 4760 m
  • Administrative location (township): RuntorRu ’thor
  • Administrative location (county): Drongpa’Brong pa
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: June 14, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS VI, HAS D1
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Zhingsa DoringZhing sa rdo ring is located near the north side of Ngangla RingtsoNgang la ring mtsho in a place known as ZhingsaZhing sa. The site sits at the northeast foot of Cheri TeldzongPhye ri thal rdzong, a prominent hill of the locale (see E-22). The terrain is level, sandy and overgrown with dramagra ma brush. The ground must have presented quite a different and less degraded appearance at the time the monuments were created. In addition to a row of pillars and associated walls, there are four funerary enclosures at the site. All these structures are built of a dark, grained rock. The very sandy ground upon which Zhingsa DoringZhing sa rdo ring was built has taken a large toll on the integrity of the monuments.

According to RuntorRu ’thor elders, ZhingsaZhing sa was farmed in ancient times. Two small perennial streams originating from the flanks of the meridian range flow through this sandy basin. No terracing, retaining walls or other signs of old agriculture were detected at ZhingsaZhing sa. Such structures, however, could have been easily engulfed by the unstable sandy terrain.

Oral tradition

In RuntorRu ’thor, sites such as Zhingsa DoringZhing sa rdo ring are commonly attributed to the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

Enclosure

Only portions of two east-west running walls have endured. These walls are spaced 6.8 m apart. The north wall segment is 6.5 m long and the south wall segment is 7 m long. The variable-length (10 cm to 30 cm long) stones of the double-course walls (around 60 cm thick) are flush with the ground surface or slightly protrude above it. The two extant wall segments fall far short of embracing the entire row of pillars. This may indicate that the enclosure was not of the standard design or that some pillars were erected outside of it.

Pillars

The nine unhewn pillars form an uneven row 12.6 m long that is roughly oriented north-south. These highly eroded, dark-colored pillars stand just west of the two extant wall fragments. The area around the pillars has been heavily disturbed by dramagra ma brush and a build up of sand. Stones scattered around the pillars are likely to have been part of the proximate walls. From north to south, the pillars have the following dimensions and forms:

  1. Long-stone DR1: irregularly shaped, (80 cm [height] by 1 m [basal girth]).
  2. Long-stone DR2: irregularly shaped (70 cm by 1.1 m).
  3. Long-stone DR3: four-sided (90 cm by 1.1 m).
  4. Long-stone DR4: tabular (90 cm by 1.1 m).
  5. Long-stone DR5: irregularly shaped (70 cm by 1.1 m).
  6. Long-stone DR6: four-sided (50 cm by 90 cm).
  7. Long-stone DR7: irregularly shaped (35 cm by 70 cm).
  8. Long-stone DR8: irregularly shaped (35 cm by 70 cm).
  9. Long-stone DR9: irregularly shaped (80 cm by 90 cm).
Outlying funerary structures
Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 is situated 51 m west of the north end of the row of pillars. Its perimeter walls are composed of smaller stones (up to 30 cm long). No coherent wall fragments have survived in FS1, thus its design characteristics are difficult to ascertain.

Funerary structures FS2, FS3 and FS4 were built on the same sandy bench. These three enclosures appear to be of the heaped-stone wall typology (II.2c).

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 (21 m by 11 m) is situated 90 m southwest of FS1. This enclosure has an irregular form. Only swaths of stones (1 m to 1.5 m wide) that do not rise much above ground level form its walls.

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 (12.6 m across) is situated 65 m south of FS2. Its perimeter is partially intact.

Funerary Structure FS4

Funerary structure FS4 (13 m across) is situated 42 m south of FS3. Its nebulous perimeter has an ovoid form.

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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.