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.2. Superficial structures: Primarily funerary superstructure

Jorkhok’Byor khog

Basic site data

  • Site name: Jorkhok’Byor khog (sp.?)
  • English equivalent: Diseased Ruins
  • Site number: D-51
  • Site typology: II.2a
  • Elevation: 4460 m to 4470 m
  • Administrative location (township): Oma’O ma
  • Administrative location (county): GertséSger rtse
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: June 6, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: The wholesale destruction of the site.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS VI
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Jorkhok’Byor khog is the name of a locale east of old Oma’O ma. In a sandy plain, just south of the main road running between GertséSger rtse and TsakhaTshwa kha, are the remains of a number of large single-course quadrate enclosures. Sadly, since circa 2000, the site has been decimated by local residents intent on extracting stones for local building projects. The plain of Jorkhok’Byor khog has few naturally occurring stones and easy access to the site has made it highly vulnerable to drokpa’brog pa families expanding their homesteads in the area. At the time of the survey, many of the uprooted stones still lay on the site, ready for pickup. Little or no excavation seems to have taken place within the enclosures.

Oral tradition

Local residents associate Jorkhok’Byor khog with the ancient MönMon. Its ostensible name suggests that it is traditionally perceived as being very inauspicious.

Site elements

The dimensions, locations and characteristics of the superstructures are as follows:

  1. Funerary structure FS1 (12 m across) has only small wall fragments that remain in situ. Two dislodged stones at the enclosure are 1.5 m and 1.2 m in length.
  2. Funerary structure FS2 (11 m across) is situated 47 m south of FS1. FS2 was recently damaged and very little remains intact.
  3. Funerary structure FS3 is located immediately south of FS2. Three walls of this square enclosure are still partly intact. Aligned in the cardinal directions, FS3 measures 5.7 m (east-west) by 5.3 m (north-south). The variable-length (up to 85 cm long) stones of the walls are elevated 10 cm to 15 cm above ground level.
  4. Funerary structure FS 4 was a smaller enclosure of which little still remains. It was recently shorn of stones.
  5. Funerary structures FS5, FS5, FS6, and FS7 formed a row 60 m in length. Every single stone in these structures has been wrenched from the ground. These enclosures were composed of many larger stones (50 cm to 70 cm long). There are traces of other funerary superstructures of the same typology in the proximity.

A rectangular enclosure (6.3 m by 3.7 m) on the south side of Oma Tso’O ma mtsho was built on level sandy ground. More than 50 percent of stones in the enclosing walls were recently removed. In situ stones reach a maximum length of 70 cm and project as much as 30 cm above ground level. There is also reported to be a similar enclosure on the north side of Oma Tso’O ma mtsho at a locale called LorpukLor phug (sp.?).


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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