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

Drakratar MöndurBrag ra thar mon dur

Basic site data

  • Site name: Drakratar MöndurBrag ra thar mon dur
  • English equivalent: Freed Goat Rock Formation MönMon Tombs
  • Site number: D-47
  • Site typology: II.2a
  • Elevation: 4850 m to 4890 m
  • Administrative location (township): DungruDung ru
  • Administrative location (county): RutokRu thog
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: May 30, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing. Probable extraction of stones for the construction of nearby pastoral facilities.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS II
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

DrakratarBrag ra thar is the name of a small pastoral winter encampment (Günsadgun sa) and the dark-colored rock formation behind it, located in the Arula GyapA ru la rgyab region. In the vicinity there are several funerary superstructures of the so-called möndurmon dur type. They appear to be of rudimentary construction. These are among the most northern archaeological assets surveyed to date. The presence of Riu GönpaRi’u gdon pa, an important archaic residential site (B-25) and good pasturage to the south, may have had some bearing on the founding of funerary structures at this site.

Oral tradition

In this region (RutokRu thog), sites such as Drakratar MöndurBrag ra thar mon dur are generally ascribed to the MönMon.

Site elements

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (6.8 m by 8 m) is situated on a shelf at the edge of the DrakratarBrag ra thar formation (33° 57.751΄ N. lat. / 81° 52.789΄ E. long. / 4890 m). Only a few vestiges of this highly degraded enclosure are extant. Nearly all the large stones in the enclosing walls have been removed. Nearby, on a slope below the shelf, there are the possible remains of a smaller enclosure, but not enough is intact to make a positive identification.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 (2.6 m by 2.4 m) is a single-course enclosure, whose larger upright stones reach 70 cm in length and project as much as 40 cm above the ground surface (57.724΄ / 52.923΄ / 4880 m).

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 (1.8 m by 1.8 m) is a single-course enclosure made up of upright rocks, up to 75 cm in length, which project upwards of 30 cm above the ground surface (57.631 / 53.026 / 4880 m). Stones of the perimeter walls have broken free and lie scattered inside the small enclosure.

Affiliated sites

AyakA g.yag

Farther up valley, at a location called AyakA g.yag there is what appears to be another funerary superstructure (56.131΄ / 56.209΄ / 4850 m). This rocky tumulus (3 m across by 1 m high) has no visible coherent wall segments remaining. A few meters up valley of this structure there are the remains of a small enclosure approximating a rectangle (2 m by 1.1 m). The perimeter walls consist of a single line of stones inserted into the ground edgewise. These slabs are up to 55 cm in length and project as much as 15 cm above the ground surface. On the down valley side of the tumulus there are small wall fragments of other funerary structures.

Between DrakratarBrag ra thar and AyakA g.yag there is an area of light-colored rock formations known as Dranpa NakkhaDran pa nag kha (sp.?). It is reported that two or three “möndurmon dur” are located here.

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Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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