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

Denjangri Mukpo DongLdan byang ri smug po gdong

Basic site data

  • Site name: Denjangri Mukpo DongLdan byang ri smug po gdong (sp.?)
  • English equivalent: Northern Mountain Purplish Face (?)
  • Site number: E-18
  • Site typology: II.3
  • Elevation: 4880 m to 5010 m
  • Administrative location (township): Oma’O ma
  • Administrative location (county): GertséSger rtse
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: June 6, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS II
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

On or near the talus-covered summit of the Denjangri Mukpo DongLdan byang ri smug po gdong mountain there are probably seven cubic tombs of conventional design and construction. This imposing ridge is located northwest of old Oma’O ma. From its summit there are good views north and east (in the direction of Tarap TsoRta rabs mtsho), while the views south and west are closed by adjacent ridgelines. Grayish slabs (that have darkened substantially) of variable length (primarily 30 cm to 70 cm long) were used in construction.

Oral tradition

In this region (SenkhorBse ’khor), sites such as Denjangri Mukpo DongLdan byang ri smug po gdong are commonly connected to the ancient MönMon.

Site elements

East summit group

This group is found on or near the east summit ridge.

Funerary Structure FS1

Funerary structure FS1 (2.9 m by 3.4 m by 40 cm to 60 cm [height]) is situated on the relatively level east end of the summit ridge. The sub-rectangular lower portion of the central depository (reliquary) (80 cm by 1 m by 25 cm [depth]) is intact.

Funerary Structure FS2

Funerary structure FS2 is situated 19 m southeast of FS1 and has the same aspect. FS2 has been reduced to a dissolute foundation, thus it could not be positively identified.

Funerary Structure FS3

Funerary structure FS3 is situated on a ledge below the east summit. One corner of this highly deteriorated cubic tomb still reaches 70 cm in height. Little else coherent remains in this specimen.

Funerary Structure FS4

Funerary structure FS4 (1.9 m by 2.4 m by 50 cm to 1 m) is situated near FS3, on a smaller talus-sprinkled ledge. This relatively well-preserved specimen appears to have been aligned in the cardinal directions. Its central depository is covered in stones and impacted earth.

Main summit group

This group is found further west, on or near the main summit ridge.

Funerary Structure FS5

Funerary structure FS5 is situated on a ledge overlooking the steep south face of the mountain (29.149΄ / 06.595΄ / 4930 m). So deteriorated is this small specimen that it could not be positively identified as a cubic tomb.

Funerary Structure FS6

Funerary structure FS6 (1.9 m by 2.2 m by 50 cm) is situated just below the summit on a broad north slope lightly strewn with talus. The walls of this cubic tomb are aligned in the cardinal directions. The partially intact, large central depository measures 1.1 m (east-west) by 60 cm (north-south) by 30 cm deep. The bottom of the central depository is obscured by rubble.

Funerary Structure FS7

Funerary structure FS7 (2.5 m by 2 m by 40 cm) is situated on the talus-covered summit Just the base of the central depository has survived. Human skeletal remains were detected in the central depository. Among these tiny bone fragments was a mandibular section with a canine and pre-molar tooth, which was collected for chronometric analysis. This bone specimen yielded disappointing results.224 These results may possibly indicate that the assayed sample represented part of an adventitious human burial of more recent times.

Funerary Structure FS8

Funerary structure FS8 is situated just below the summit on a south slope heavily cloaked in talus. FS6 consists of a rocky pit (1.7 m by 2.7 m by 1 m [depth]). This structure may also have had a burial function.


[224] FS7: AMS analysis, sample no. Beta-187502; conventional radiocarbon age: 220 +/-40 BP.

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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