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

TsakamTshwa skam

Basic site data

  • Site name: TsakamTshwa skam
  • English equivalent: Dried Salt
  • Site number: D-94
  • Site typology: II.2b
  • Elevation: 4400 m
  • Administrative location (township): RecoRe co
  • Administrative location (county): RutokRu thog
  • Survey expedition: HTAE
  • Survey date: October 4, 2003
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS I, HAS A1
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

TsakamTshwa skam is one of three funerary sites (D-94, D-95, D-96) located in the RamaRa ma valley system. It is situated on the right/east side of the valley, not far upstream of its confluence with the main RecoRe co valley. The terrain is moderately sloping, open and sandy. The single funerary structure of TsakamTshwa skam is primarily made of a hard gray rock. A small portion of what are referred to as “MönMon” fields is still under cultivation higher up in the RamaRa ma valley (see D-96). Interspersed between the still used barley fields are many defunct parcels. The remains of retaining walls (Zhingrazhing ra) around these abandoned fields clearly identify them as once having been assigned to agricultural usage. TsakamTshwa skam consists of just one gray granite funerary monument.

Oral tradition

In RecoRe co, structures such as that found at TsakamTshwa skam are generally attributed to the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (14 m by 8.7 m) is oriented to the angle of the slope, not in the cardinal directions. This poorly preserved rectangular enclosure still possesses small bits of integral walls. On its west side, the forward wall is elevated 1 m above the slope. The north side of the perimeter is elevated about 50 cm above the slope, while the east and south sides are mostly flush with the surface. The partly intact double-course perimeter walls contain variable-length (up to 70 cm long) stones. The area inside the enclosure is free of interior structural elements. On the north side of the perimeter there is a coherent wall section composed of three or four vertical courses of stones. This evidence indicates that FS1 had a superstructure of significant height. A small shepherd’s shelter was built on the southeast corner of the perimeter. Other stones are piled near the southwest corner of the structure. These structures must have been built with stones extracted from the enclosure.

There is an area of double-course cobble wall fragments (2.5 m in length) situated 3.5 m south of the enclosure. As only around 30 cobbles are still fixed in the ground, the design and configuration of these walls could not be determined.

Affiliated sites

PowaSpo ba

In the main RecoRe co valley at a location called PowaSpo ba (Stud Yak) there is a single funerary enclosure (33° 23.276΄ N. lat. / 79° 14.768΄ / 4380 m). Parts of its double-course granite perimeter walls (60 cm to 70 cm thick) are intact. These walls are mostly level with the ground surface.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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