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

Ritil Tsuk MöndurRi mthil gtsug mon dur

Basic site data

  • Site name: Ritil Tsuk MöndurRi mthil gtsug mon dur
  • English equivalent: Base of the Mountain Crown MönMon Tombs
  • Site number: D-122
  • Site typology: II.2d
  • Elevation: 4530 m
  • Administrative location (township): MamikMa mig
  • Administrative location (county): GertséSger rtse
  • Survey expedition: TUE
  • Survey date: September 27, 2005
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS VII, HAS A3
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Ritil Tsuk MöndurRi mthil gtsug mon dur overlooks the Somé TsangpoBso med gtsang po, which is located a few hundred meters to the southwest. The Somé TsangpoBso med gtsang po is the longest river that drains into Lakkor TsoLag skor mtsho. To the northeast, the site is bound by the mountain known as Ritil TsukRi mthil gtsug. The most open vista is found in the northwest. The terrain is very sandy and dotted with sand dunes, which serve to help camouflage the three quadrate funerary mounds of Ritil Tsuk MöndurRi mthil gtsug mon dur. These smaller mounds are highly deteriorated and are not aligned in the cardinal directions. It appears that stonewalls bordered all four sides of the top of each mound.

Oral tradition

According to local sources, Ritil Tsuk MöndurRi mthil gtsug mon dur is associated with the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (3 m by 3 m) is a highly eroded mound and the most easterly specimen at the site. It is elevated 1 m to 1.5 m above the surrounding terrain. Some sections of walls, two vertical courses of stones in height, have persisted just below the top of the structure. They lie exposed, the earth around them having eroded away.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 (4.5 m by 8 m) is situated 1.8 m northwest of FS1. This largest and best preserved mound is elevated 1.5 m to 2.5 m above the surrounding terrain. The double-course wall that lined the east rim of the mound is still partially intact. This wall (around 80 cm thick) contains uncut variable-length (10 cm to 70 cm long) pieces of light-colored limestone and conglomerate. It is up to 60 cm in height and composed of three layers of stones. Small bits of the same type of wall line the south rim of the structure. There is also a small wall fragment on the north side of FS2. Some stones are partly submerged here and there in the mound, and grass grows on it.

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 (5 m by 3 m) is situated 120 m west of FS2 at slightly lower elevation. It is elevated 1 m to 2 m above the surrounding terrain. There are no coherent wall segments remaining on this highly eroded mound. A few stones that were part and parcel of the walls bounding the top of the structure are still in situ. Another possible funerary mound is found some tens of meters northwest of FS3, but the structural evidence is inconclusive. This possible specimen is located closer to the Somé TsangpoBso med gtsang po on rolling sandy ground, which is elevated about 20 m above the river.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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