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

Naser TangGna’ gser thang

Basic site data

  • Site name: Naser TangGna’ gser thang
  • English equivalent: Golden Blue Sheep Plain (?)
  • Site number: D-90
  • Site typology: II.2c
  • Elevation: 4720 m
  • Administrative location (township): TsarangRtsa rang
  • Administrative location (county): TsamdaRtsa mda’
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: October 18, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS V, HAS C2
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Naser TangGna’ gser thang is located on an eponymous small but lofty plateau, which is sandwiched between the deep valleys of PulingSpu gling and TigyamurTi rgya mur. The undulating plateau is sandy and covered in turf and dramagra ma scrub. High mountains on three sides (including the Great Central Himalaya) constrain the view in these directions. The southern vista, in the direction of PulingSpu gling, is somewhat more open. Naser TangGna’ gser thang consists of two large rectangular enclosures with predominantly heaped-stone wall perimeters. These walls are made of variable-length (10 cm to 40 cm long) uncut pieces of gray limestone and tan crystalline sandstone. This ostensible funerary site is one of the few mortuary sites surveyed in the badlands of GugéGu ge. Many GugéGu ge funerary sites are likely to have been covered by sedimentary deposits that dominate the geology of this region. Other burials may be concealed in inaccessible caves. In any case, Naser TangGna’ gser thang is the only example of heaped-stone wall enclosures found in GugéGu ge to date. In addition to the structures themselves, the lofty aspect and physical conditions of the site resemble those of the JangtangByang thang. These affinities are likely to betoken cultural links between these two geographic regions and physiographic provinces.

Oral tradition

None was collected.

Site elements

West enclosure

The west enclosure is generally aligned in the cardinal directions, and measures 13 m (north-south) by 29 m (east-west). Its walls are around 2 m in thickness and are generally elevated 40 cm to 70 cm above the surrounding terrain. These walls are mostly composed of sparsely distributed heaps of stones. There are also a few hints of coherent wall fragments. The west enclosure has been seriously damaged by the extraction of stones. This extraction is probably related to the recent construction of the link road that traverses Naser TangGna’ gser thang. The enclosure is comprised of one large open space. Inside the enclosure there are four depressions up to 1 m deep. These depressions appear to be the remains of excavations. These excavations must have taken place long ago because they are dotted with dramagra ma, a slow growing woody shrub.

East enclosure

The east enclosure is situated only 3 m east of the west enclosure. It is of the same design and construction as the west enclosure. The main portion of the east enclosure is also aligned in the cardinal directions, and measures 8 m (north-south) by 15 m (east-west). Connected to the south side of this structure there is a less well preserved analogous enclosure (9 m by 10 m) of unclear form. There are three dramagra ma-studded depressions in this portion of the enclosure; the probable signs of excavations carried out long ago.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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