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

SerlungGser lung

Basic site data

  • Site name: SerlungGser lung
  • English equivalent: Gold Valley
  • Site number: D-83
  • Site typology: II.2b
  • Elevation: 4700 m
  • Administrative location (township): MepaSmad pa
  • Administrative location (county): ShentsaShan rtsa
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: September 25, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS IX
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

SerlungGser lung is located in a wide open plain south of the Mepa TsangpoSmad pa gtsang po. The terrain is level, sandy and with some turf. There is just one rectangular, double-course funerary enclosure at SerlungGser lung. Measuring 6.4 m by 5.3 m, this structure is not aligned in the cardinal directions. The perimeter walls are incomplete, but small coherent fragments are still extant. Some wall traces of indeterminate thickness are composed of blocky chunks of white limestone up to 45 cm in length. Other wall fragments consist of small (around 10 cm long) rounded pieces of limestone laid in parallel courses around 20 cm thick. The entire structure is flush with the ground surface. SerlungGser lung is one of the most easterly examples of a funerary enclosure with double-course superficial walls surveyed to date. This monument typology is found west across the JangtangByang thang all the way to far western Tibet. This pattern of distribution (from YakpaG.yag pa and NaktsangNag tshang in the east and to GugéGu ge and RutokRu thog in the west) supports other archaeological evidence indicating that this vast region formed an integral paleocultural entity in antiquity.208 Such ethnic, linguistic and/or religious uniformity is also supported by persistent and pervasive legends over the same territorial bounds, attributing the funerary enclosures to the ancient MönMon tribe.

Oral tradition

According to local drokpa’brog pa, SerlungGser lung is an ancient MönMon site.


[208] Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang zhung Paleocultural Entity.”; Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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