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

MarrongDmar rong

Basic site data

  • Site name: MarrongDmar rong
  • English equivalent: Red Gorge
  • Site number: D-79
  • Site typology: II.2e
  • Elevation: 4620 m
  • Administrative location (township): BellaBal la
  • Administrative location (county): PelgönDpal mgon
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: September 19, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS IX
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

MarrongDmar rong is located on the west side of BültsoBul mtsho. It is in view of the sacred mountains, NamraNam ra and kyungkaSkyung ka. The six terraced funerary structures of the site form two rows spread out laterally over a broad, turf-covered slope with around a 15° gradient. There are three terraced funerary structures in each row. These consist of quadrate structures built in the manner common in the far eastern JangtangByang thang (flat top, high forward flank, flush or inset rear flank. etc.). With few exceptions, integral wall segments have not persisted at MarrongDmar rong. The superstructures are constructed of variable-length (20 cm to 90 cm) stones. The exterior faces of a few of these stones may have been cut flat. MarrongDmar rong does not appear to have been disturbed in recent times.

Oral tradition

According to local drokpa’brog pa, MarrongDmar rong consists of ancient remains.

Site elements

East group

The three east group structures form a row 28 m long. These structures are not aligned in the cardinal directions. They are made of a white calcareous rock and a grayish volcanic (?) rock. All three funerary structures of the east group are overgrown with nettles.

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (4.2 m by 4 m) has parts of its four walls intact. The forward flank is elevated to a height of around 1.2 m above the downhill slope. The rear wall is either even with the uphill slope or set below it as much as 20 cm.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 (5.1 m by 4.2 m) has a forward flank elevated about 1.2 m above the downhill slope. Small portions of coherently built side walls are extant. These double-course walls (70 cm thick) consist of three layers of stones and attain a height of 30 cm.

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 (5.6 m by 4.4 m) has a forward flank 1.5 m in height and a rear wall flush with the slope. The double-course side wall (around 70 cm thick) fragments are composed of four layers of stones and reach 35 cm in height.

West group

The west group of funerary structures is situated 17.5 m west of the east group. These structures are mostly made of a different type of rock (igneous?).

Funerary Structure FS4

Funerary structure FS4 (5.2 m by 4.3 m) has small portions of all four walls intact. The forward flank has a height of about 1.5 m.

Funerary Structure FS5

Funerary structure FS5 (6.2 m by 5.3 m) has parts of all four walls intact. The forward flank has a height of about 1.5 m, while the rear wall is set 20 cm below the slope. One double-course side wall segment is approximately 1 m thick.

Funerary Structure FS6

Funerary structure FS6 (7.3 m by 4.7 m) appears to be aligned in the cardinal directions. Despite changes to the slope having damaged the upper portion of the structure, its lower part is the best preserved structure at MarrongDmar rong. The corner where the south and west walls are joined is intact, showing that FS6 was a neatly built quadrate structure. This corner is made up of three vertical courses of masonry and has a height of 30 cm. Small fragments of blue and red slate are found on the structure, which possibly may have been part of its subsurface architecture.

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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.