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

Trachap MöndurKhra chab mon dur

Basic site data

  • Site name: Trachap MöndurKhra chab mon dur
  • Site number: D-108
  • Site typology: II.2a, II.2b, II.2c
  • Elevation: 4540 m to 4640
  • Administrative location (township): MamikMa mig
  • Administrative location (county): GertséSger rtse
  • Survey expedition: HTWE
  • Survey date: June 20 and June 21, 2004
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS VII
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Trachap MöndurKhra chab mon dur is located in the TrachapKhra chab valley of the PenchéPhan che region. The views are open up and down the north-south aligned valley and constrained in the east and west by the parallel mountain ranges. There are no less than ten funerary structures dispersed around the TrachapKhra chab valley. These structures are found on both the flanks of the valley and the valley bottom. All of these structures are constructed of uncut pieces of gray granite. They are of the single-course, double-course and heaped-stone wall types.

Oral tradition

According to local drokpa’brog pa, Trachap MöndurKhra chab mon dur is associated with the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (5.1 m by 6 m) is situated on the level gravel-strewn TrachapKhra chab valley bottom (31° 45.054΄ N. lat. / 83° 58.076΄ E. long. / 4540 m). This double-course enclosure is not aligned in the cardinal directions. About half of the enclosure is still extant. The perimeter walls (around 60 cm thick) are composed of stones (20 cm to 50 cm long), which are even with the ground surface or project above it to a maximum height of 20 cm.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 is a group of fragmentary structures situated on the broad lower west flank of the valley. Among the most prominent of these structures is a single-course quadrate enclosure, which is not aligned in the cardinal directions (2.8 m by 2.1 m). Only one of its perimeter walls is fully intact. It consists of larger upright stones (up to 60 cm long), which protrude 10 cm to 20 cm above ground level. Just 60 cm northeast of this structure is a double-course slab-wall segment (3 m long) composed of upright slabs (10 cm to 30 cm long), which are flush with the ground surface. This slab wall is about 30 cm in thickness. Other slab-wall fragments are found 5.5 m to the northwest. These double-course fragments are of the same construction and are 80 cm to 1.2 m in thickness. What type of funerary structures these slab-wall fragments formed is no longer evident.

Funerary structures FS3 to FS6 are situated on the wide, moderately inclined slopes above the west side of the valley floor. These four specimens are found in pockets of sand that have formed between successive ribs of granite boulders. These geological structures are part of ancient outwash fans. Funerary structures FS3 to FS7 are made of variable-length pieces of granite (up to 70 cm long).

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 (10.5 m by 11 m) is a sub-rectangular enclosure that probably had heaped-stone walls. The north or uphill side of this structure is set 20 cm to 40 cm below the upper slope, while the downhill side of the structure is elevated at least 1 m above the adjacent terrain. The interior of this enclosure is level and free of structural elements.

Funerary Structure FS4

Funerary structure FS4 (15 m by 23 m) is a kidney-shaped heaped-stone wall enclosure. It appears to have been subdivided by partition walls into three cells. The perimeter walls of FS4 are around 50 cm in height. The small lower cell is elevated about 50 cm above the downhill slope. The large central cell is set about 50 cm above the lower cell and is somewhat inclined. Some stones are scattered around the central cell. The small upper cell is depressed about 50 cm below the uphill slope.

Funerary Structure FS5

Funerary structure FS5 (10 m by 10 m) is a sub-rectangular heaped-stone wall enclosure. The rear/uphill side of this structure is set 60 cm to 80 cm below the adjoining slope, while the downhill side is elevated around 30 cm above the adjacent slope. The interior of FS5 is free of structural elements.

Funerary structures FS6 and FS7 are located in a larger outwash fan to the south of FS3 and FS4.

Funerary Structure FS6

Funerary structure FS6 (4 m by 4 m) is a single-course ovoid enclosure. Part of this enclosure may also have had double-course perimeter walls. The FS6 interior appears to be free of structural elements. The stones of the enclosure project as much as 25 cm from ground level.

Funerary Structure FS7

Funerary structure FS7 (20 m by 11 m) is an irregularly shaped heaped-stone wall enclosure. FS7 is subdivided by walls into three cells. The circular upper cell has a prominent heaped-stone perimeter wall. The uphill side of the upper cell is depressed around 50 cm below the uphill slope. The downhill side of FS7 is somewhat elevated above the adjoining slope. A long gully, free of stones, runs above FS7. A wall of unknown function, 8 m in length, traverses this gully.

Funerary structures FS8 to FS10 are located in the open sandy and gravelly ground of the valley bottom.

Funerary Structure FS8

Funerary structure FS8 (2.6 m by 2.6 m) is a quadrate single-course enclosure that is aligned in the cardinal directions. The perimeter walls are composed of stones 20 cm to 50 cm in length, which are flush with the ground surface or which project above it slightly. FS8 has an open interior. Adjacent to the north side of this enclosure there are some stones piled up and some stones that are partly submerged in the ground.

Funerary Structure FS9

Funerary structure FS9 (4.2 m by 4.3 m) is a fragmentary quadrate enclosure that may have had double-course walls. Stones in the perimeter walls are 15 cm to 60 cm in length and project as much as 15 cm from the ground surface. FS9 has an open interior.

Funerary Structure FS10

Funerary structure FS10 (7 m by 6.3 m) is a double-course, quadrate enclosure that is aligned in the cardinal directions. Only small fragments of the double-course perimeter walls in this fragmentary specimen have survived. Stones used to construct FS10 are 15 cm to 40 cm in length, and are either flush with the ground surface or slightly rise above it.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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