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.3. Cubic mountaintop tombs

NyukriSmyug ri

Basic site data

  • Site name: NyukriSmyug ri
  • English Equivalent: Pen Mountain
  • Site number: E-13
  • Site typology: II.3
  • Elevation: 5040 m to 5070 m
  • Administrative location (township): ZhungpaGzhung pa
  • Administrative location (county): GegyéDge rgyas
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: May 20, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS VI, HAS A2
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

There are probably eight cubic tombs on the top of NyukriSmyug ri, a dark-colored pyramidal peak, situated on the western edge of the Dri Jiu’Bri byi’u drainage basin. NyukriSmyug ri is an isolated, relatively high summit topped with talus, which enjoys unencumbered views in all directions. From the summit of NyukriSmyug ri, TrotungKhro thung (E-4), Mönpa NakpoMon pa nag po (E-1), distant mountains with lofty burial grounds, are visible. The structures of NyukriSmyug ri were constructed with reddish brown and bluish volcanic (?) rock slabs of variable length (up to 1 m in long), in the typical fashion.

Oral tradition

Generally speaking, in this region (ZhungpaGzhung pa), sites such as NyukriSmyug ri are associated with the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

Summit tombs

There are two cubic tombs on the summit ridge of NyukriSmyug ri, one on the north side and one on the south side (5070 m). These structures are separated by 38 m. The south summit specimen is highly degraded and only a small part of it has survived. The north specimen is also highly degraded, having been reduced to a fragment of an outer wall. On the talus mantle there may have been other specimens but virtually nothing of them remains. Near the south summit tomb there are traces of a small enclosure recalling similar structures at EndritséAn ’bri rtse (E-11).

North slope structures

Below the north summit tomb, at a distance of 40 m, there are the remains of another enclosure (2.5 m by 2.5 m). Its walls reach a maximum height of 50 cm. Farther down the north slope there appears to be the remains of a cubic grave, leveled to its foundation (5040 m).

East slope tombs

Just the below the summit, on the east flank of the mountain, there are two cubic tombs spaced 11 m apart. The south specimen measures 1.5 m by 1.5 m by 60 cm (height) and the north specimen measures 1.7 m by 1.8 m by 60 cm.

West slope tombs

There are also two cubic tombs on the west slope, just below the summit. The west sides of these specimens were constructed against a boulder. The south specimen (1.5 m by 1.5 m by 1 m) has a well-preserved rectangular central depository (60 cm by 40 cm by 70 cm [depth]). The adjacent north tomb (1.6 m by 1.4 m by 90 cm) also has the benefit of its central depository, which is a little smaller than its counterpart (30 cm by 50 cm by 60 cm).

South slope tomb

On the south flank of NyukriSmyug ri, just below the south summit tomb, there is another specimen, which has been reduced to its foundation.

Affiliated sites

There is reported to be two funerary superstructures, of the enclosure type, near the west foot of NyukriSmyug ri.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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