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

Sergam MöndurSer sgam mon dur

Basic site data

  • Site name: Sergam MöndurSer sgam mon dur
  • English equivalent: Yellow Chest MönMon Tombs
  • Site number: D-52
  • Site typology: II.2b
  • Elevation: 4610 m
  • Administrative location (township): YutsoG.yu mtsho
  • Administrative location (county): GertséSger rtse195
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: June 9, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
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General site characteristics

Sergam MöndurSer sgam mon dur, a contiguous group of double-course funerary enclosures, is located in a side valley about 12 km southwest of TongtsoStong mtsho (this lake is visible from the site). The terrain is level and gravelly. The variable-sized quadrate enclosures of SergamSer sgam are joined together, and encompass an area measuring 48 m (north-south) by 17 m (east-west). The size and prominence of these structures indicates that SergamSer sgam was a relatively important funerary site. The slab walls (40 cm to 60 cm thick), the predominant type at the site, are generally aligned in the cardinal directions. Primarily, an unhewn light brown stone of variable length (30 cm to 80 cm) was used in their construction. Many of these stones host orange climax lichen. The light brown stones were installed in the ground edgewise and project 5 cm to 25 cm above the surface. There are also a few contrasting wall sections made from pieces of gray limestone (10 cm to 25 cm long) that are set flush with the ground surface.

Oral tradition

In this region (GertséSger rtse), sites such as Sergam MöndurSer sgam mon dur are closely associated with the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

The fragmentary nature of the SergamSer sgam superstructures precluded a detailed assessment of their ground plans. Not one enclosure has survived fully intact. The better-preserved, south half of the site consists of six interconnected enclosures in two rows of three each. These six enclosures all share the same central wall. The east portion of the north half of the site appears to have supported three more analogous enclosures. These are now highly fragmentary. The west portion of the north half of SergamSer sgam may have contained a symmetrical array of three enclosures, but virtually all evidence of them has been effaced from the surface.


[195] In the pre-Communist period this locale was part of the JangmaByang ma district (tsopatsho pa) of Drongpa Tsogu’Brong pa tsho dgu, not GertséSger rtse.

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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