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


Basic site data

  • Site name: Name unknown
  • Site number: D-131
  • Site typology: II.2a, II.2b
  • Elevation: 5050 m to 5130 m
  • Administrative location (township): HorpaHor pa
  • Administrative location (county): Drongpa’Brong pa
  • Survey expedition: WYLE
  • Survey date: May 30, 2007
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS X

General site characteristics

Hidden in and around an extensive area of ancient moraines, between the two effluents (Ngekar ChuDngas dkar chu and Tamchok KhabapRta mchog kha ’babs) that make up the headwaters of the Tamchok TsangpoRta mchog gtsang po (Brahmaputra river), there is a funerary site. Seven superficial structures were surveyed here but there may well be more. Funerary structures FS1 and FS2 are situated on top of an ancient terminal moraine in an extremely isolated location. Funerary structures FS3 to FS7 are located where moraines give way to a ridge, barricading the south side of the NgechuDngas chu, 180 m above the valley floor. This latter group of structures is constructed of white igneous, dark metamorphic and other types of rocks of variable dimensions. None of the funerary structures at this site are well aligned in the cardinal directions.

Oral tradition

None was collected.

Site elements

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS 1 (9m by 5 m) appears to be a transitional type of structure with heaped-stone wall and double-course perimeter design traits. This sub-rectangular structure is constructed of white igneous stones of variable size, and is divided into two uneven cells by a bisecting wall (comprised of a single line of stones placed upright in the ground). The interior of FS1 is concave, a sign of erosion and possibly subsidence.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS 2 (6 m by 5 m) is situated 4 m from FS1 on the same flat moraine top, which is not much wider than the funerary structure. FS2 consists of a single-course perimeter wall and is in very poor condition.

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 appears to be another structure with a transitional morphology (heaped-stone wall and double-course perimeter subtypes). The perimeter measures 5.4 m by 8.6 m, but is cut away on one side to create an indenture 3.3 m in length. The enclosure includes wall segments with one or two vertical courses of slabs, laid flat. Other wall sections contain incoherent clusters of stones and a few sections are comprised of upright slabs.

Funerary Structure FS4

Funerary structure FS4 (approx. 7.8 m by 6.5 m) has been partially obliterated. The design of this structure is not immediately apparent. It contains fragments of double-course walls consisting of slabs laid flat in vertical courses.

Funerary Structure FS5

Funerary structure FS5 is around 5 m in length. Its west side has been obliterated. Double-course perimeter wall fragments have survived: these are 50 cm to 60 cm in thickness, and include upright stones that project a maximum of 25 cm above the ground surface.

Funerary Structure FS6

Funerary structure FS6 is around 4.5 m in length, but its west side is missing. Double-course perimeter fragments are comprised of upright stones as well as slabs and blocks, laid flat. The perimeter wall is around 60 cm in thickness and upright stones project a maximum of 20 cm above the surface.

Funerary Structure FS7

The superstructure of funerary structure FS7 (5.2 m by 6m) is only partially intact, but includes part of the west wall. This possibly ovoid structure is of the same construction as neighboring specimens. Walls are 70 cm to 80 cm in thickness and upright stones project a maximum of 30 cm above the surface.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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