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

NedéGnas sde

Basic site data

  • Site name: NedéGnas sde
  • English equivalent: Holy District
  • Site number: D-101
  • Site typology: II.2e
  • Elevation: 4400 m
  • Administrative location (township): Damzhung’Dam gzhung
  • Administrative location (county): Damzhung’Dam gzhung
  • Survey expedition: HTWE
  • Survey date: May 5, 2004
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS IX
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

NedéGnas sde is located on a ridge, rising up on the east side of the TrechuKhre chu. On the ridgeline there are at least five small terraced tombs with a southern aspect. These structures exhibit the same design and construction characteristics as the smaller terraced funerary structures of the far eastern JangtangByang thang. This, in itself, suggests that there were close cultural links between these regions. The terraced structures of NedéGnas sde are probably all tombs, as demonstrated by the recent excavation of funerary structure FS4 by local residents.

Oral tradition

According to local sources, NedéGnas sde is an ancient burial ground.

Site elements

Funerary structures FS1 to FS4 form a single line of structures on the edge of the hillside (4400 m). They are all situated at the same elevation. The uphill flanks of these structures are flush with the slope while their downhill flanks are elevated around 1 m above the slope.

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (7 m by 4.5 m) has a top fully bounded by masonry that exhibits no particular design pattern.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 (5.5 m by 7 m) also has a verge lined in masonry of no particular design. The stones appear to have been laid in a haphazard fashion.

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 (3.6 m by 4) has a verge partially lined with stones (34,483΄ / 10.154΄).

Funerary Structure FS4

In recent years, funerary structure FS4 has been excavated to a depth of 1 m by local residents in their quest for valuable artifacts and building materials (stones are used to build corrals and other structures.). This excavation penetrated to the bottom of the structure. The stones were hauled away by truck as evidenced by deep tire tracks that still scar the hillside. It is reported that human bones and ceramic shards were found inside FS4. No traces of these objects remain visible at the site. Many stones (up to 80 cm long) were left in a pile beside where FS4 once stood. It appears from local testimonies, that the subsurface architecture of FS4 consisted of a stone-lined burial chamber. This rock laden structure contrasts with the adjoining slopes, which are free of stones.

Funerary Structure FS5

Funerary structure FS5 is situated approximately 5 m below the FS1 to FS4 line of tombs. Only some of the stones forming its verge are still in situ. FS5 is level with the uphill slope and elevated about 1 m above the downhill slope. It is quite possible that there is another terraced funerary structure next to FS5 but it has been totally engulfed by dramagra ma brush.

There is another possible funerary mound on the same ridgeline, but it is too degraded to positively identify through visual means (34.334΄ / 10.246΄ / 4370 m).


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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