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

Nakra Drakseng MönraNag ra brag seng mon ra

Basic site data

  • Site name: Nakra Drakseng MönraNag ra brag seng mon ra
  • English equivalent: Black Expanse Lion Rock MönMon Enclosures
  • Site number: D-57
  • Site typology: II.2b
  • Elevation: 4800 m and 4810 m
  • Administrative location (township): DrowaGro ba
  • Administrative location (county): NyimaNyi ma
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: June 25, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS VIII
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Nakra Drakseng MönraNag ra brag seng mon ra, the site of two large enclosures, is located at the south foot of the dark-colored NakradrakNag ra brag seng formation. In the heights above the site there is a rampart network stronghold (A-76). The terrain is sandy and moderately slopes down towards the lush Nyawa TsangpoNya ba gtsang po basin. The not well-preserved enclosures of Nakra Drakseng MöndurNag ra brag seng mon dur appear to be funerary superstructures. They are comprised of thin slabs of stone that seem to have been cut from the parent formation. These slabs form both double-course walls and heaped-stone walls. While most stones now lie prostrate on the surface, it is likely that some of those belonging to double-course walls originally were erected upright. It would appear that they collapsed en masse in the unstable sandy substrate. Other double-course walls may have been composed of several vertical courses of slabs laid on top of one another. The two enclosures of Nakra Drakseng MöndurNag ra brag seng mon dur, with their prominent slab walls, must have once cut an imposing sight.

Oral tradition

According to local elders, the structures of Nakra Drakseng MöndurNag ra brag seng mon dur were constructed by the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (16 m by 13 m) has three walls fairly well aligned in the cardinal directions, while the north side of the structure is made up of the rock formation itself. The south/downhill wall is elevated upon an earthen embankment around 1.2 m in height. The three well-built, double-course perimeter walls (50 cm thick) are composed primarily of smaller slabs (1 m long maximum) that lie flat on the ground. There are also some small upright slabs in the south wall that project upwards of 50 cm above ground level. These upright stones are pillar-like in aspect. Some portions of the east wall are missing. There is much building debris scattered about, both inside and outside the enclosure.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 (38 m by 45 m) is situated a couple hundred meters west of funerary structure FS1. This structure appears to consist of heaped-stone and double-course walls that form a sub-rectangular enclosure. Much of the structure is elevated around 1 m above the surrounding terrain. The enclosure gently slopes down towards the east. The perimeter walls are now very fragmentary. Either there was no north wall (the side adjacent to the NakradrakNag ra brag seng formation) or it has been fully obliterated. Within the perimeter walls, near the upper end of the enclosure, there is an inner enclosure (5 m across). This apparently square subsidiary structure is composed of double-course slabs that lie flat on the ground. Its walls are now quite fragmentary. Beside it is another subsidiary enclosure that also appears to have been square in form (2.3 m by 2.3 m). This example exhibits a single-course slab-wall perimeter. The two subsidiary enclosures may have been erected to mark the precise locations of burials.

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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.