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

DarchenDar chen

Basic site data

  • Site name: DarchenDar chen
  • English equivalent: Great Flag (?)
  • Site number: D-78
  • Site typology: II.2e
  • Elevation: 4780 m
  • Administrative location (township): DesarSde gsar
  • Administrative location (county): AmdoA mdo
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: September 18, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS IX
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

DarchenDar chen is located in a small eponymous valley with the mountain called darchokDar lcog (Flag Mast) at its head. The DarchenDar chen valley is a northwestern effluent of DungtsoMdung mtsho. In the vicinity of the site is Shari NamdzongSha ri gnam rdzong, a mountain associated with the non-Buddhist king Dü LutsenBdud klu btsan of the Ling GesarGling ge sar epic. The four terraced funerary structures of the site form a line 59 m in length, which is situated on a turf-carpeted 10° slope. These structures have a southeast aspect and are found about 20 m above the DarchenDar chen valley floor. They appear to be terraced funerary structures of the type that is widespread in the far eastern JangtangByang thang, but they appear to have been simply built with little protrusion above the surrounding terrain. The superstructures are highly fragmentary; none of them have integral wall segments. Variable-length (primarily 20 cm to 60 cm long) uncut gray metamorphic rocks were used in construction. The funerary monuments of DarchenDar chen do not appear to have been tampered with recently.

Oral tradition

A few local sources claim that DarchenDar chen represents the remains of a fortress. Another oral tradition holds that DarchenDar chen was built by the Turco-Mongolian SokpoSog po.

Site elements

The funerary structures of DarchenDar chen have the following dimensions, locations and salient features:

  1. Funerary structure FS1 (4.8 m by 4 m) has only portions of its south wall and west wall intact. FS1 is elevated about 20 cm above the surrounding slope.
  2. Funerary structure FS2 (9 m by 6 m) has parts of its two side walls and forward wall intact, and is elevated about 20 cm above the surrounding slope. A small shepherd’s shelter (droklhé’brog lhas) was built on top of FS2.
  3. Funerary structure FS3 (5.6 m by 5.3 m) has parts of its four walls intact.
  4. Funerary structure FS4 (5.6 m by 4 m) has parts of its four walls intact.

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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