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

Chumik Do LatséChu mig mdo la btsas

Basic site data

  • Site name: Chumik Do LatséChu mig mdo la btsas
  • English equivalent: Springs Confluence Cairn
  • Site number: D-103
  • Site typology: II.2d
  • Elevation: 4310 m to 4360 m
  • Administrative location (township): Damzhung’Dam gzhung
  • Administrative location (county): Damzhung’Dam gzhung
  • Survey expedition: HTWE
  • Survey date: May 7, 2004
  • Contemporary usage: The looting of the site.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS IX
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Chumik Do LatséChu mig mdo la btsas is located on the north edge of the Dam’Dam basin. This is another site of quadrate funerary mounds of the kind commonly found in the area (see D-4, D-99, D-100, D-102). These structures have a southern aspect. In recent years, three of the six bangsobang so of Chumik Do LatséChu mig mdo la btsas have been destroyed by looters. It is rumored that a ceramic pot containing patterned agates was discovered on the site and sold in LhasaLha sa. This find appears to have unleashed a digging frenzy on the part of local residents. The result of this illicit activity is the loss of much of the scientific value of Chumik Do LatséChu mig mdo la btsas. In relatively heavily populated and accessible Damzhung’Dam gzhung grave robbing is a growing problem. Thus far, little or nothing has been done by local or provincial authorities to curb this problem, putting at extreme risk what remains of the region’s archaeological heritage.

Oral tradition

According to local sources, Chumik Do LatséChu mig mdo la btsas is an ancient burial ground.

Site elements

Upper sector

Funerary structures FS1 to FS4 are situated on dramagra ma-studded, steep slopes 30 m to 50 m above the edge of the Dam’Dam basin. These structures have the following dimensions and characteristics:

  1. Funerary structure FS1 has been completely eliminated through excavation. This excavation measures 4 m by 4 m and is 1 m deep on its uphill side. The stones removed from the dig were cast down the slope, indicating that the excavation of FS1 was solely a matter of grave robbing.
  2. Funerary structure FS2 (6 m by 7 m) has a rear/north flank 1.5 m in height and a downhill/north flank 2 m or more in height. This highly eroded mound has dramagra ma brush growing on it.
  3. Funerary structure FS3 (4.5 m by 5.5 m) has an uphill height of about 1 m and a downhill height of around 2 m (34.703΄ / 12.458΄ / 4360 m). This structure is highly eroded and has lost much of its original shape. DramaGra ma brush grows on FS3.
  4. Funerary structure FS4 (4 m by 4 m) has been nearly leveled by looters.
Lower sector

Funerary structures FS5 and FS6 are situated at the base of the slope.

Funerary Structure FS5

Funerary structure FS5 has been nearly removed by looters. It is only through local information that one would know of its existence, as so little in situ structural evidence remains. The destruction of this funerary mound required the removal of many cubic meters of earth and rock. In an outer wall fragment (3 m high) there are many embedded bones. Quite easily the survey team found a sheep mandible in the surface of the structure.

Funerary Structure FS6

Funerary structure FS6 has been destroyed through wholesale excavation. Up to 4 m vertical of earth and stones were removed to create a large gaping hole in the ground.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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