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

Doring BarmaRdo ring bar ma

Basic site data

  • Site name: Doring BarmaRdo ring bar ma
  • English equivalent: Middle Long-stone
  • Site number: D-119
  • Site typology: II.2b, II.2d
  • Elevation: 4860 m
  • Administrative location (township): LhomaLho ma
  • Administrative location (county): GertséSger rtse
  • Survey expedition: TUE
  • Survey date: September 23, 2005
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: A few manima ṇi plaques.
  • Maps: UTRS VI, HAS D1
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Doring BarmaRdo ring bar ma is located on the northwest margin of the Sekhor LhomaBse ’khor lho ma basin. To the west, the site is closely bound by the ridge that encloses the basin. There are wide views in all other directions. The well-drained terrain is nearly level, sandy and gravelly. Doring BarmaRdo ring bar ma consists of a large funerary mound (bangsobang so) and at least one other funerary structure. In close proximity there is a shepherd’s camp with a few small corrals, which is occupied in the springtime. Many of the walls of the funerary structures were dismantled in order to build this camp. Uncut beige and reddish volcanic (?) stones of variable length (15 cm to 60 cm long) were used to construct the archaeological structures. Stones are scattered all around the site, detritus from the funerary monuments. There is a spring in the vicinity, a fairly unusual occurrence at ancient funerary sites. The name suggests that at one time there was one or more standing stones at Doring BarmaRdo ring bar ma, but evidence of their existence was not discovered. Another seasonal drokpa’brog pa camp in the area known as Doring LhomaRdo ring lho ma may also have had menhirs, but no archaeological remains were detected there. On the other hand, at Doring JangmaRdo ring byang ma (C-5), another locale in the area, there are two isolated pillars.214

Oral tradition

Although the structures of Doring BarmaRdo ring bar ma are called “möndurMon dur” by local residents, their function is no longer clear to them.

Site elements

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 is a large quadrate mound aligned in the cardinal directions. It measures 14 m (north-south) by 15.5 m (east-west), and is elevated 1.5 m to 2 m above the surrounding terrain. In the middle of the top of the tumulus there is a stone-filled depression. This shows that, at some time in the past, FS1 was opened by vandals. Just below the rim of the mound there are double-course wall fragments (around 40 cm thick). Such walls must have lined each side of the structure. The longest of these double-course wall fragments (2.3 m) runs along the west rim of the structure. There is also a small fragment of a herringbone wall course on one flank of the mound, indicating that it once boasted extensive and elaborate stonework. Below the north and west sides of the mound are remnants of slab and block walls. These constitute ancillary funerary structures whose configuration is no longer discernable. The longest of these outlying wall segments (3 m long, 40 cm thick) is found to the north of the mound. This north-south oriented, double-course wall is composed of blocks laid flat on the ground. A few old plaques inscribed with the manima ṇi mantra have been placed on the mound. Fortunately, FS1 no longer appears to be mined for stones.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 (3.8 m by 3.7 m) is situated 43 m west of FS1 at a slightly higher elevation. This quadrate, double-course enclosure is also aligned in the compass points. Some parts of FS2 are level with the ground surface while other parts are elevated as much as 50 cm above the adjacent ground. Only small fragments of the double-course perimeter walls have survived.


[214] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 162.

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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