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.

Notes

[1] For the findings of my earlier expeditions see: Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet; Bellezza, “Gods, Hunting and Society: Animals in the Ancient Cave Paintings of Celestial Lake in Northern Tibet,” East and West52 (2002): 347-396; Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet; Bellezza, “Bon Rock Paintings at gNam mtsho: Glimpses of the Ancient Religion of Northern Tibet,” Rock Art Research17, no. 1 (2000): 35-55; Bellezza, “A Preliminary Archaeological Survey of Da rog mtsho,” The Tibet Journal24, no. 1 (1999): 56-90; Bellezza, “Notes on Three Series of Unusual Symbols Discovered on the Byang thang,” East and West47, nos. 1-4 (1997): 395-405; Bellezza, Divine Dyads.
[2] Another crucial archaeological asset of Upper Tibet is rock art, which provides a rich record of the archaic way of life in the region. Dozens of sites in which petroglyphs and pictographs document social, religious and economic facets of early life are distributed over much of Upper Tibet. This graphic evidence also reveals the existence of a distinctive paleoculture, one with strong affinities to surrounding peoples but with it's own idiosyncratic qualities, setting Upper Tibet apart from the steppes and more eastern regions of the plateau. Rock art, a prime indicator of aesthetic values, defines the uniqueness of early Upper Tibet as much as its monumental assemblages. The rock art tableaux spectacularly depict the vitality, resourcefulness and stamina of the past inhabitants of the region. This is certainly something that modern day Tibetans can take pride in and something in which the rest of the world can marvel. A comprehensive inventory of Upper Tibetan rock art was also conducted and will constitute the contents of another volume in the present series in due course.
[3] Much of this section of the work was taken from the text of Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[4] On the autumn phase of this expedition, I was accompanied by Döndrup LhagyelDon grub lha rgyal, a highly skilled researcher at the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences.
[5] On this expedition, I had the good fortune of being accompanied by Könchok GyatsoDkon mchog rgya mtsho, a research scholar at the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences.
[6] This section of the work was derived from Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[7] Bellezza, Zhang Zhung
[8] This section of the work is also derived from Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[9] At present the scant chronometric data do not demonstrate that any of the archaeological sites surveyed date to the late second millennium BCE or earlier. I suspect, however, that this current age limitation will be overcome as the pace of archaeological research intensifies and Bronze Age (especially late Bronze Age) structures can be positively identified. As in Central Tibet, some Upper Tibetan monuments may even prove to date to the Neolithic. An earlier periodization is particularly likely for tombs, because in all adjoining regions where chronometric and collateral archaeological data have been assembled, there are burials that predate the first millennium BCE. Another possible exception to an early Iron Age chronological basement are certain Upper Tibet rock art sites and compositions, which in terms of the techniques of manufacture and style conform to what some Central Asian rock art specialists would consider to be Bronze Age schema.
[10] For reviews of these earlier epochs see Aldenderfer, “The Prehistory of the Tibetan Plateau”; Chayet, Art et Archéologie du Tibet. Sites attributed to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic have been discovered in Upper Tibet, but far more research is needed to determine when the high plateau was first peopled and how these earlier occupations contributed to the later course of civilization in the region.
[11] For the purposes of this study, the Tibetan term bangsobang so is only used to denote burial mounds. In the Tibetan language this term can also be applied to a larger range of burial structures.
[12] This part of the work is based on John Vincent Bellezza, “A Cornerstone Report. Comprehensive Archaeological Surveys Conducted in Upper Tibet between 2001 and 2004. Documentation of archaic monuments and rock art in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Carried out under the auspices of the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences and Ngari Xiangxiong Cultural Exchange Association of the Tibet Autonomous Region.” Tibetan & Himalayan Library. (URL not currently available. 2005). For more detailed typological and paleocultural information, see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[13] On the basis of similarities in size, orientation and ground plan, as well as the presence of an interior pillar marking an analogous area in the Dindun site (DingdumSdings zlum) habitation S4, Mark Aldenderfer infers that the ‘Founder’s House dokhangrdo khang’ (part of site B-13) may date to the same period, circa 550-100 BC (Mark Aldenderfer, “A New Class of Standing Stone from the Tibetan Plateau,” The Tibet Journal28, nos. 1-2 [2003]: 3-20). A small round of wood was discovered in the stone rubble of a semi-subterranean dokhangrdo khang at the Gekhö KharGe khod mkhar lung site (A-89). This specimen has yielded a calibrated radiocarbon date of circa 200 BC to 100 CE. The historical persistence of dokhangrdo khang as active residences until the early second millennium CE, is indicated in the contest between Buddhist yogin MilarepaMi la ras pa and the BönBon adept Naro BönchungNa ro bon chung (Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 65).
[14] An important textual reference concerning the historical identity of the Kel MönSkal mon of Upper Tibet is found in Marlungpa NamtarMar lung pa rnam thar, written by Tön Künga RinchenThon kun dga’ rin chen and Jangchup BumByang chub ’bum (13th century CE). For this reference, a translation, and bibliographic information about the text, see Roberto Vitali, The Kingdoms of Gu.ge Pu.hrang. According to mNga’.ris rgyal.rabs by Gu ge mkhan.chen Ngag.dbang grags.pa (Dharamsala: Tho.ling gtsug.lag.khang lo.gcig.stong ’khor.ba’i rjes.dran.mdzad sgo’i go.sgrig tshogs.chung. 1996), 200 (n. 287), 589. It must be noted that Vitali’s translation of the passage under question differs in a number of important areas from the one I provide below. Vitali maintains that the concerned passage documents a group of northerners distinct from the KelSkal and MönMon, for which there is little grammatical basis. In his excellent study, Vitali may have been persuaded to translate the passage in such a way because of various other historical references that place the Kel MönSkal mon in Himalayan regions. The Marlungpa NamtarMar lung pa rnam thar records that the MönMon and another group known as the KelSkal were pushed out of northern areas of Tibet by the HorHor (probably a Central Asian Turco-Mongolian group), forcing them to settle further south (in GugéGu ge?). According to Vitali’s analysis, this event occurred between the demise of the Tibetan empire and the founding of the Ngari KorsumMnga’ ris skor gsum kingdom by Nyima GönNyi ma mgon, in the early tenth century CE (Vitali, Kingdoms of Gu.ge Pu.hrang). Evidently, in their new homeland the KelSkal and MönMon, BönBon practitioners, became amalgamated into one tribal entity. This account provides a historical basis for the pervasive Upper Tibetan oral tradition, which holds that the JangtangByang thang was once widely populated by the Kel MönSkal mon. This Marlungpa NamtarMar lung pa rnam thar account also documents the creation of a castle by the Kel MönSkal mon, but unfortunately it is not referred to by name or location. The text reads as follows: “…The four mountains of KelSkal [and] the thirteen tongdéstong sde (divisions of 1000) of MönMon were the people of the north. They were driven out of their country by the HorHor and arrived in the southern districts. They settled in different places. They built a great castle. The Kel MönSkal mon king YukhaG.yu kha received empowerments and transmissions (these teachings were received from Tönmi Nyima ÖzerThon mi nyi ma ’od zer, a Zhang Zhung NyengyüZhang zhung snyan rgyud master who was alive in the late ninth century CE). He produced a Bön Kham ChenBon khams chen (a sixteen-volume collection analogous to the BuddhistyumYum) in gold lettering” (skal gyi ri bo bzhi/ mon stong sde bcu gsum/ byang gi mi yin pa hor gyis yul ston lho ru sleb/ yul so so btab/ mkhar chen po rtsigs/ skal mon gyi rgyal po g.yu khas dbang lung zhus/ bon khams chen gser ma zhengs/; Vitali, Kingdoms of Gu.ge Pu.hrang,200, 222).
[15] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 36.
[16] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 105.
[17] I explore this topic at some length in a paper delivered at the tenth International Association of Tibetan Studies conference held in Oxford (Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung Paleocultural Entity: A Comparative Analysis of Archaeological Evidence and Popular Bon Literary Sources.” Paper prepared for the International Association of Tibetan Studies Conference X, Oxford, 2003).
[18] Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung”; Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[19] On a recent fieldtrip to Mongolia, I observed that at Turk mortuary sites between Khoton nuur and Khurgan nuur and at Jol (all located in the Bayan Olgiy aimak), the bulbul stones in form and orientation are very much like the doringrdo ring of the Upper Tibetan arrays. Many of the bulbul stones (20 cm to 50 cm in height) at these sites are tabular in form and have their broad sides oriented to the north and south. These bulbul stones form east-west oriented rows.
[20] See Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[21] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 239-40.
[22] Aldenderfer, “A New Class of Standing Stone.”
[23] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 88-89.
[24] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 98. After Helmut Hoffmann, The Religions of Tibet, (New York: MacMillian, 1961).
[25] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 34; Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 98-99.
[26] Bellezza, Zhang zhung.
[27] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet.
[28] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet; Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet; Bellezza, Zhang zhung.
[29] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 31.
[30] Unless otherwise noted dimensions provided throughout this work are for the maximum visual extent of the structure under appraisal. The dimensions of some structures can only be approximately determined because they do not readily lend themselves to measurement. In some cases, structures are partially obscured by soil or rubble, or sections are missing, rendering measurement difficult. Uncertainties may also arise in reference to the interface between manmade structures and the natural terrain. This has the effect of creating more or less arbitrary baseline measurements.
[31] Pipipi phi may have a Zhang ZhungZhang zhung language etymology. In the ninth century CE, the Tibetan military governor of ShenShan, Zang PipiZang pi pi/Zang PeipeiZang pei pei, was of Zhang ZhungZhang zhung origin (Beckwith 1987: 169).
[32] Bellezza, Zhang ZhungZhang zhung.
[33] See Gangtsö Nyenkhorgi Gönpa KhakGangs mtsho’i nye ’khor gyi dgon pa khag, 53: yang spos ri ngad ldan gyi shar phyogs shel gyi brag dkar rtse rdzong du g.yung drung lha rtse’i ’dus sde chen po dgra bcom stong phrag dang ldan pa zhang zhung mkhan po g.yung drung tshul khrims kyis btab/.
[34] In the Tisé KarchakTi se dkar chag, Yungdrung TsültrimG.yung drung tshul khrims is credited with propagating the BönBon doctrine at Khyungchen Pungpé RiKhyung chen spungs pa'i ri. For this account, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 59, 60.
[35] Tendzin WangdrakBstan 'dzin dbang grags, “Gangtsö Nyenkhorgi Gönpa KhakGangs mtsho’i nye ’khor gyi dgon pa khag,” Zhang Zhung RiknéZhang zhung rig gnas: 53: spos ri ngad ldan gyi nub phyogs dpal phu'i ri ldebs su g.yung drung mchog steng gi dgon pa gnas brtan stong dang drug brgya ldan pa zhang zhung mkhan po khri 'bar gtsug phud kyis btsugs/ yang de'i lho phyogs hrom po dpal gyi ri la g.yung drung brtsegs pa'i 'dus sde chen po dge 'dun stong phrag lhag ldan gtsug phud tshul khrims kyis bzhengs pa sogs lo rgyus mang yang nye dus bstan pa gzhan la 'phos pa ltar snang rung zhang zhung spos ri ngad ldan gyi nye 'khor rnams su dgon shul lam mkhar shul rnying pa gang sar mjal rgyu yod pa dang / kha shas phyi su grub mtha’ gzhan gyi gnas su 'gyur ba dang rang rang gyi lo rgyus dang bcas pa gsham gsal/.
[36] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 32.
[37] Nilrang (nilrangrnil rwang/nilrangrnil rang/nilrangsnil rang/nilrangsnil rwang) is the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung word for snow mountain (gang rigangs ri) (Martin, 2001). The usage of riri and rangrang together is a common onomastic application, whereby a Tibetan word is used in conjunction with its Zhang ZhungZhang zhung equivalent. The toponym Jomo Rirangjo mo ri rang/Jomo Rirongjo mo ri rong also recalls the home of Dralé GyelmoSgra bla'i rgyal mo, the female head of the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung pantheon in the BönBon textual tradition: Tak RirongStag ri rong (Tiger Mountain Valley). A vowel change from rangrang to rongrong is in keeping with the kinds of phonetic and etymological shifts often exhibited by place names in Upper Tibet.
[38] My research shows that in the remote village of TangStang, in the ZarangZa rang district of GugéGu ge, Dralé GyelmoSgra bla’i rgyal mo is still the chief female protective deity of the yüllhayul lha class. She plays a prominent role in the shun ballads of the village. See Bellezza 2008, 325 (n. 360).
[39] See Welchen Gekhö Sangwa Drakchengyi Kanyen Nagmo Tukkyi SangdrupDbal chen ge khod gsang ba drag chen gyi bka’ nyan nag mo thugs kyi gsang bsgrub, attributed to Sipa Drema KhöSrid pa dre ma khod (the younger brother of Dralé GyelmoSgra bla’i rgyal mo), in the Gekhö MechaGe khod smad cha volume (New Collection of Bön KatenBka’ brten, vol. 122, nos. 101-116), nos. 101, ln. 1 to 106, ln. 1. A synopsis of this origin tale is given in Bellezza 2008.
[40] Written by the Bön sarmagsar ma lama Sangngak LingpaGsang sngags gling pa (New Collection of Bön KatenBka’ brten, vol. 173, nos. 379-386), no. 382, lns. 1, 2: ti se gangs dang ma pang mtsho/ bar du gnas pa’i sgrub sde mo/ rol mo (= rom po) rdza zangs g.yeng (= g.yen) dmar khams/ gnam lcags thu lum ’bar ba’i mkhar/.
[41] ZaBza' is a clan signifier of female deities. Chucham GyelmoChu lcam rgyal mo is the main cosmogonic goddess of Bön.
[42] See Zhang Zhung Meri Sekhar Trowo Kyé Mi Göpé ZhungZhang zhung me ri’i gsas mkhar khro bo bskyed mi dgos pa’i gzhung in Zhang Zhung MeriZhang zhung me ri (published by Tenzin Namdak, TBMC, 1973, nos. 327-370), no. 362, lns. 1, 2: phyogs phyogs de ni pha ki na/ nyi ma nub phyogs ya ki na/ nyi ma g.yen dmar rgyal khams na/ thu lum ’bar ba’i gsas mkhar na/ yab ni gangs dang lha yi rgyal po lags/ yum ni shel bza’ ’phrul gyi chu lcam rgyal mo lags/ de gnyis ya mtshan sprul pa las/ sgra bla’i rgyal mo stag ri rong /. The colophon provides details of the more recent pedigree of the text: “Yangtön Sherap GyeltsenYang ston shes rab rgyal mtshan requested it from the adept and lama KündülKun ’dul. Then, in succession, it went to Tokden DeshéRtogs ldan dad shes and from him to the teacher (loppönslob dpon) Samten RinchenBsam gtan rin chen. He gave it to the lineage of the teacher Tsül ÖTshul ’od. The KhamKhams meditator Trashi RinchenBkra shis rin chen requested it from him. Then, in succession through the lineage, it went to Tretön Püntsok DrakpaTre ston phun tshogs grags pa, the [present] owner.”
[43] TingmurTing mur is one of a number of Zhang ZhungZhang zhung language toponyms in KhyunglungKhyung lung. It denotes the color blue but may once have had other meanings as well. Up valley from the contemporary YültöYul stod settlement there is an old agricultural zone called MurtiMur ti, brought back into cultivation during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung language, MurtiMur ti means “a spring” (Bellezza, Zhang ZhungZhang zhung, 150). It is said that in ancient times instead of a plow, a planting stick (pundepphur ’debs) was used to plant seeds in places like MurtiMur ti and TingmurTing mur. According to local lore, only one seed at a time was planted using this slow but effective method. Muti RongMu ti rong, a locale between KhyunglungKhyung lung and Jomo RirangJo mo ri rang, also possesses a Zhang ZhungZhang zhung name. Other possible Zhang ZhungZhang zhung toponyms in the vicinity of KhyunglungKhyung lung are KorönKo ron, PuktiPhug ti, SatiSa ti, NyikyinNyi skyin, [LatséLa rtse] KaliKa li, HugyuHru gyu, and MarchaSmar ca’a. The GugéGu ge region appears to have the highest proportion of place names in Upper Tibet that owe their origins to the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung language.
[44] A stone model of an archaic chötenmchod rten was discovered in Do SerpoRdo ser po by local residents during excavations. It is 11 cm in height, hollow and dark-colored. It has a fairly tall base surmounted by five graduated tiers and is crowned by a small, almost round bumpabum pa.
[45] According to Bön literary sources, there were three Zhang ZhungZhang zhung citadels in the vicinity of KhyunglungKhyung lung. For a discussion of these sources see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 39–43.
[46] Also spelled DongwoLdong bo/DongpoMdongs po. DongpoGdong spo translates as “Change Place of Residence Mountain Face.” This place name is said to be derived from the movement of the valley’s monastery three times to different hills over the course of history.
[47] I was unable to access the site due to the collapse of the upper reaches of the earthen formation upon which it sits.
[48] Püntsok DéPhun tshogs lde, the son of Namgyel DéRnam rgyal lde (1372-1431 CE), shifted the capital of GugéGu ge to TsarangRtsa rang during a period of considerable prosperity. According to the Shantipa NamtarShanti pa rnam thar, TsarangRtsa rang and TodingMtho lding were unsuccessfully attacked by a combined force from RutokRu thog, JangByang, MönMon, LowoGlo bo and MangyülMang yul, sometime after 1539. In 1630, the king of LadakLa dwags, Senggé NamgyelSeng ge rnam rgyal, conquered TsarangRtsa rang, ushering in a half century of Ladakhi rule in GugéGu ge. For these historical references, see Roberto Vitali, Records of Tho.ling: A Literary and Visual Reconstruction of the “Mother” Monastery in Gu.ge (Dharamsala: High Asia, Amnye Machen Institute, 1999), 37, 44, 45, 47, 48.
[49] At TsarangRtsa rang there are two round structures called sokhangso khang (surveillance posts) situated near the base of the hill, the largest of which has a diameter of 22 m. These were also constructed of adobe blocks and feature rectangular loopholes. The larger of the two specimens is found in an area known as Lozang Degyé LingBlo bzang bde rgyas gling.
[50] According to the Ladak GyelrapLa dwags rgyal rabs, Nyima GönNyi ma mgon built Rala KharmarRa la mkhar dmar in the Horse Year (rta’i lo la ra la mkhar dmar rtsigs), which can probably be assigned to 910 CE. This same source states that this was the first site occupied in the Ngari KorsumMnga' ris skor gsum kingdom. Nyangrel ChönjungNyang ral chos 'byung mentions that Rala KharmarRa la mkhar dmar was located north of Mapam YutsoMa pham g.yu mtsho. For these references, see August Hermann Francke, Antiquities of Indian Tibet. The Chronicles of Ladakh and Minor Chronicles, Texts, Translations, with Notes and Maps. Reprint edition (Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, New Imperial Series, 1972), 93; Roberto Vitali, The Kingdoms of Gu.ge Pu.hrang. According to mNga’.ris rgyal.rabs by Gu ge mkhan.chen Ngag.dbang grags.pa. (Dharamsala: Tho.ling gtsug.lag.khang lo.gcig.stong ’khor.ba’i rjes.dran.mdzad sgo’i go.sgrig tshogs.chung, 1996), 548, 553.
[51] Although it is commonly stated that GarSgar (Military Encampment) received its name from the military headquarters established here by Ganden TsewangDga' ldan tshe dbang (fl. 1680) in the late 17th century CE, the origin of this toponym may also have something to do with the eight ancient (MönMon) fortresses (A-22, A-23, A-41, A-42, A-43, A-44, A-66, A-67) that encircle the valley.
[52] Unlike Ganden TsewangDga' ldan tshe dbang’s MönMon predecessors, no attempt was made to create unassailable bastions in the heights by the old LhasaLha sa government. This certainly signaled a further decline in Upper Tibet’s defensive capability, leaving it vulnerable to attacks originating from various sources.
[53] For another discussion of agriculture in this locale see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 36.
[54] The presence of extensive disused MönMon fields at this locale is noted in Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 78.
[55] Less than 50% of arable land in the DungkarDung dkar valley is now being cultivated. A chronic shortage of water in the Dungkar ChuDung dkar chu is the main limiting environmental factor. East of DungkarDung dkar there is another small agrarian community in the valley of LanyungBla nyung. Only about one-third of its potential agricultural base is now being exploited due to dwindling water supplies. In earlier times, before the desiccation of the RutokRu thog region was so pronounced (RutokRu thog is situated in a multiple rain shadow), these two valleys must have been thriving farming communities. A similar pattern of environmental degradation is found in the nearby Tserlung’Tsher lung/TselungMtshe lung valley (Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 30, 31).
[56] A description of DzongnakRdzong nag is found in John Vincent Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet: Archaeological Discoveries on the High Plateau (Delhi: Adroit, 2001), 89, 90.
[57] This is one local interpretation of the etymology of the site name.
[58] This is also reported in Vitali, Records of Tho.ling: A Literary and Visual Reconstruction of the “Mother” Monastery in Gu.ge, 21. According to Vitali’s sources, Trashi GönBkra shis mgon, the son of Nyima GönNyi ma mgon, built his headquarters halfway up the same hill. This is the site of substantial monastic ruins (31° 28.5΄ N. lat. / 79° 47.5΄ E. long. / 3800 m). There are the remains of seven or eight substantial earthen structures located here with walls that tower more than 5 m in height. In addition to walls composed of ordinary adobe blocks, there are those constructed of specially hardened small mud bricks.
[59] A discussion of this geographic demarcation is found in John Vincent Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung Paleocultural Entity: A Comparative Analysis of Archaeological Evidence and Popular Bon Literary Sources.” Paper prepared for the International Association of Tibetan Studies Conference X, Oxford, 2003. Currently in press.
[60] The oral tradition of the HorHor occupation of this region is discussed in Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods, 282, 283.
[61] See Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung” for an analysis of the pre-Buddhist status of the site.
[62] Historical information on the JiuByi’u locale is recorded in Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari Chöjung Gangjong DzegyenMnga’ ris chos ’byung gangs ljongs mdzes rgyan (Lha sa: Böjong Mimang Petrün KhangBod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang. 2006), 152. He asserts that Pema KharPad ma mkhar is a site with impressive stone walls, wooden building materials and many shards of ceramics scattered about (Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 154). It is not clear, however, what site the author actually has in mind. Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po confirms that an account in the Tsünmo KatangBtsun mo bka’ thang regarding a pilgrimage to Mapam YutsoMa pham g.yu mtsho by King Tri SongdetsenKhri srong lde btsan and his queen, Lhacham Trülgu GyurmaLha lcam ’phrul dgu sgyur ma, refers to the JiuByi’u locale (Pema Gyepé LhakangPad ma rgyas pa’i lha khang) (Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 154). According to Tsünmo KatangBtsun mo bka’ thang, the sandalwood statue of Guru RinpochéGu ru rin po che was fashioned by King Tri SongKhri srong in memory of his religious master.
[63] For this account, I have use the copy of the Tisé KarchakTi se’i dkar chag recently published in the journal Zhang Zhung RiknéZhang zhung rig gnas (kar ru drup wang ten dzin rin chenDkar ru grub dbang bstan ‘dzin rin chen. “Dzamling Ganggyel Tisé Karchak Tsangyang Yitrok’Dzam gling gangs rgyal ti se’i dkar chag tshangs dbyangs yid phrog.” Zhang Zhung RiknéZhang zhung rig gnas: 35.)
[64] See Tendzin WangdrakBstan ’dzin dbang grags, “Gangtsö Nyenkhorgi Gönpa KhakGangs mtsho’i nye ’khor gyi dgon pa khag,” 54: nub kyi khrus sgo bya skyibs dgon/ gsung bstan thog ma’i dus gad pa gser gyi bya skyibs can g.yung drung bkod pa’i lha sde zhes ba ste/ dus phyi ’bri gung spyan snga shes rab ’byung gnas ’khor sgom chen lnga brgya dang bcas pas yun ring du bzhugs shing ’bri gung pas bdag tu bzung /.
[65] Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 226.
[66] For information on these prehistoric funerary sites see Chinese Institute of Tibetology, Sichuan University, “Trial Excavation of Ancient Tombs on the Piyang-Donggar Site in Zanda County, Tibet,” Kaogu6 (2001): 14-31; Chinese Institute of Tibetology, Sichuan University, “Survey of Gebusailu Cemtery in Zanda county,” Kaogu6 (2001): 32-38; and references to these sources in Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[67] The small houses of DechöSde chos were formerly built of local stone and with timbers hauled in from LadakLa dwags. Nowadays, most local houses are made of adobe blocks, while the timbers come from Xinjiang.
[68] For an analysis of north Inner Asian cultural influences buffeting RutokRu thog in the prehistoric epoch, see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[69] Locally, this 6200 m tall mountain is known as Gekhö NyenlungGe khod gnyan lung, Polha Gekhö GangkharPho lha ge khod gangs dkar and Polha Wangtang KarpPho lha dbang thang dkar po. Its polhapho lha (male god) attribution suggests that at one time the Gekhöge khod mountain was a regional ancestral spirit. According to local legend, the ancient HorHor invaders of RutokRu thog propitiated this god for military success. The main centers of propitaition were Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri (A-17) (see fn. 61) and a small outcrop to the east of this site called Nakchung GongmaNag chung gong ma. In RutokRu thog, Gekhö NyenlungGe khod gnyan lung is closely associated with the HorHor deity Namtel KarpGnam thel dkar po. A small yellow mountain beside it is associated with Bartel TrawoBar thel khra bo, while and even smaller adjacent ridge is the residence of Satel NakpoSa thel nag po. It is also said by some natives of RutokRu thog that Gekhö KharlungGe khod mkhar lung was originally a Mönmon deity. RutokRu thog is recorded as the abode of GekhöGe khod in ritual texts dedicated to this BönBon tutelary deity (BellezzaCalling Down the Gods, 399, n. 199). In the BönBon tradition, GekhöGe khod is considered the chief god of ancient Zhang ZhungZhang zhung. Extensive coverage of GekhöGe khod and his circle of Zhang ZhungZhang zhung deities is found in Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[70] An approximately 8 cm long fragment of a round of softwood was discovered sheltered in one of a series of outbound semi-subterranean structures, which formed a dependency of the main citadel. This wood specimen has yielded a calibrated radiocarbon date of circa 200 BCE to 100 CE. As such, a late Iron Age or protohistoric periodization for at least some of the structures at Gekhö KharlungGe khod mkhar lung site is indicated. The assayed round of wood was around 4 cm in diameter; consequently it came from a source that was not so long lived. It is likely that smaller pieces of wood like this one were exploited soon after being cut. The use of the analyzed specimen as a material cultural object at Gekhö KharlungGe khod mkhar lung is likely to have occurred in a period generally corresponding to its measured radiocarbon age. Small rounds of wood such as the one under scrutiny could have been used as architectural elements or as parts of implements with a wide range of functions. Technical specifications: Radiometric, sample no. Beta 200752; Conventional radiocarbon age: 2040 +/-70; 2 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 2150 to 1860 BP (years before present); Intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve: Cal 1990 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 2100 to 1900 BP.
[71] A section in the round of one of the hardwood members was extracted for radiocarbon dating. Technical specifications: radiometric, sample no. Beta 200750; Conventional radiocarbon age: 370 +/-50; 2 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 520 to 300 BP; Intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve: Cal 460 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated results: Cal 500 to 420 BP and 390 to 320 BP.
[72] DungkhyiDung khyi is the name of a cliff and small settlement just north of DzongriRdzong ri. It is the site of a shrine for JangtsenByang btsan, the yüllhayul lha of O JangO byang, who is said to have passed this way en route to his present residence.
[73] DzongriRdzong ri (4340 m) (A-17) is set in the middle of northwestern Tibet’s most important nucleus of settlement, Rutok NyingpaRu thog rnying pa. The prime location of Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri at the center of a network of agricultural valleys rich in archaic cultural sites, indicates that this was a very important location since antiquity. The large flat-topped 100 m high Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri is where the HorHor (a tribe that came from the north) chieftain Shenpa MerutséBshan pa sme ru rtse is traditionally thought to have established his headquarters in ancient times (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 102–104). Shenpa MerutséBshan pa sme ru rtse is supposed to have called this stronghold Dzomo RudzongMdzo mo ru rdzong (Female Yak Hybrid Army Division Fortress). After the epic hero Ling GesarGling ge sar defeated the HorHor of RutokRu thog, Shenpa MerutséBshan pa sme ru rtse became an ally of the Tibetans. What was thought to be the embalmed body of Shenpa MerutséBshan pa sme ru rtse was enshrined at Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri for many generations. The salt used in the embalming process was considered a great sacramental substance (jinlapsbyin brlabs). Local legends speak of ShenpaBshan pa (Butcher) having this name because he killed many bdud demons, including his mother and father. He is also believed, however, to have been an incarnate deity. In one RutokRu thog legend, en route to DomarRdo dmar, Shenpa MerutséBshan pa sme ru rtse along with the armies of GesarGe sar attacked Juru NordzongByu ru nor rdzong, a stronghold of the bdud demons, and destroyed it. Shenpa MerutséBshan pa sme ru rtse is said to have been mortally wounded in this campaign. This is refuted by other RutokRu thog elders who believe that Shenpa MerutséBshan pa sme ru rtse died of old age. The monasteries and fortress of Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri were entirely destroyed the Chinese military invasion of 1959 and during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. According to one local legend, the name RutokRu thog was derived from the first army division (ruru) of the HorHor that was established here (ChöngakChos ngag, Tö Ngarikyi Göndé Logyü Daksel Tongwé MelongStod mnga’ ris kyi dgon sde’i lo rgyus dag gsal mthong ba’i me long, [Lha sa: Böjong Mimang Petrün KhangBod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang. 1999], 100). A more credible etymology upheld by the eminent BönBon scholar Loppön Tendzin NamdakSlob dpon bstan ’dzin rnam dag and others is that RutokRu thog (surmounted horns) refers to the ancient Zhang ZhungZhang zhung custom of enshrining the horns of wild ungulates on the top of houses, temples and castles. According to Könchok TseringDkon mchog tshe ring of the GyapönRgya dpon clan (born Wood Ox Year, circa 1925), who is now widely recognized as Rutok NyingpaRu thog rnying pa’s most knowledgeable elder, the oldest village of RutokRu thog was situated on the lower flanks of DzongriRdzong ri. It was destroyed before living memory and the village relocated to the adjacent valley bottom. The base of the hill used to be encircled with a defensive wall punctuated by gateways in the four cardinal directions. Könchok TseringDkon mchog tshe ring states that when he was a child remnants of this wall were still visible. A tale is told by RutokRu thog elders that during a LadakLa dwags siege of Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri (A-17), the protectress Penden LhamoDpal ldan lha mo washed her hair in butter, letting it pour down the hillside. This is supposed to have fooled the LadakLa dwags army into believing that the citadel still had ample water reserves, so they withdrew from RutokRu thog. The hill of Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri is said to have the shape of an elephant and to be the residence of the territorial god (yüllhayul lha) known as LangbochéGlang bo che. According to local mythology, this elephant hill reared up during a LadakLa dwags attack, saving its inhabitants from harm. So high did LangbochéGlang bo che rise up in the sky that the fortress came to be known as Rutok NamdzongRu thog gnam rdzong. Other highly respected elders of Rutok DzongRu thog rdzong interviewed for this work include the late Penwa TseringSpen ba tshe ring (born in the early 1920s), a highly adept singer of local ballads, and the late Lozang TenpaBlo bzang bstan pa (born circa 1934), the last head of Lhündrup ChödingLhun grub chos lding. According to the Tisé KarchakTi se’i dkar chag, King Mumar TokgöMu mar thog rgod, holder of the resplendent entaeṇta horns of the bird, dwelt at RutokRu thog, as one of the monarchs of prehistoric Zhang ZhungZhang zhung (Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung”). The Bönpobon po commonly identify Rutok DzongriRu thog rdzong ri with the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung castle. The ancient Zhang ZhungZhang zhung citadel is also known as Rutok NamdzongRu thog gnam rdzong and Rutok Khyungdzong KarpoRu thog khyung rdzong dkar po.
[74] For information on this monastery (called Tang PakpaStang ’phags pa/Teng Pakpa Tongwa Dönden GönSteng ’phags pa mthong ba don ldan dgon) see Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 326-329.
[75] In the oral tradition of western Tibet balusba lu/baluba lu are anthropomorphous creatures empowered by the yüllhayul lha. They can be bearers of wealth. They are said to have built walls known as Balu Kharba lu mkhar in mountains. In the GesarGe sar epic, baluBa lu was a spy working between the countries of HoryülHor yul and LingyülGling yul (Rohit Vohra, The Religion of the Dards of Ladakh: Investigations into their Archaic ’Brog-pa Traditions [Ettelbruck: Skydie Brown, 1989], 120). In Dardic drokpa’brog pa mythology, baluba lu is a dwarf who roams on the wind (Vohra, The Religion of the Dards of Ladakh, 120). In LadakLa dwags there is a ruined castle called Balu KharSba lu mkhar/Balu KharBa lu mkhar*. Its walls are built of shuttered earth that rest upon mud mortared stone foundations. On the basis of inscriptions and petroglyphs found in the proximity, LadakLa dwags’s Balu KharBa lu mkhar may have been founded as early as 800-1000 CE. See Neil Howard, “The Development of the Fortresses of la dwags c. 950 to c. 1650 AD,” East And West39 (1989): 281, 282. According to Francke, the probable spelling is Balu KharSba lu mkhar (located 3 km from Khalatse) (August Hermann Francke, “Archaeological Notes on Balu-Mkhar in Western Tibet,” Indian Antiquaryxxxiv (1905): 203).
[76] According to the historical text Khorchak Gönpé Logyü Depter Ngülku Chesumgi Ngönjung Tam’Khor chags dgon pa’i lo rgyus deb gter dngul sku mched gsum gyi sngon byung gtam, in the tenth century CE, the king of PurangSpu rang under the behest of the great KardungDkar dung master Chöjé Dzamling DrakpaChos rje ’dzam gling grags pa founded the monastery of Serkhar Drakpé TsuklakkhangGser mkhar grags pa’i gtsug lag khang, as well as a lower and upper castle at KardungDkar dung (Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 115).
[77] This is the stronghold of DrakdongBrag gdong (A-18), situated directly above the settlement of O JangO byang. For information on this site, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 104, 105.
[78] For information about Dosham MukkharMdo gsham mug mkhar, see Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po 2006, 196-202.
[79] Giuseppe Tucci, and Eugenio Ghersi, Cronaca Della Missione Scientifica Tucci Nel Tibet Occidentale (1933) (Roma: Reale Accademia D’Italia, 1934).
[80] Tucci, Cronaca Della Missione Scientifica.
[81] A woody root (3 cm in diameter) from a joint in this wall was extracted for radiocarbon analysis. This specimen yielded a calibrated date of 1660 to 1950 CE (conventional radiocarbon age: 130 years B.P. +/- 50 years). The young age of this specimen is possibly explained by contamination effected through waterborne infiltration of more recent organic matter.
[82] Tucci, Cronaca Della Missione Scientifica.
[83] Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po speaks of a rivalry between the upper (Drakkar KharBrag dkar mkhar) and lower (Mani Tang KharMa ṇi thang mkhar) castles of NuSnu (he refers to this village as NupSnub), where Mani Tang KharMa ṇi thang mkhar was victorious leading to the pilferage and burning of the property of Drakkar KharBrag dkar mkhar (Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 250, 251). Both of these castles are said to have belonged to the Buddhist kings of GugéGu ge (Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 250, 251).
[84] According to Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, the Dorjé LingRdo rje gling fortress was occupied by a famous local headman (pönpodpon po) during the time of the GugéGu ge kings (Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 286).
[85] JekarBye dkar is situated on a plateau perched high above the Zarang TsangpoZa rang gtsang po. The four parts of the village are JekarBye dkar proper, LungméLung smad, JanggönByang dgon, and KhangdrangKhang grang (sp.?), each of which once had a Buddhist temple. Barley, wheat, radishes, turnips, green leafy vegetables, apples, and apricots are all cultivated here. Water is of critical concern in JekarBye dkar. In the summer of 2004, both of the village’s reservoirs ran dry.
[86] It is not clear when Namgyel LhatséRnam rgyal lha rtse was founded (sometime during the period of the GugéGu ge kings). For information on this site see Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 334-336.
[87] About 50 people reside in ChuserChu gser. In 2004, a freak flood destroyed some of its precious farmlands in an otherwise unusually dry year. There is a single sacred juniper tree (lhashinglha shing) left in the village, a relic of once extensive juniper cover. Scrub juniper (bamaba ma) is still found in the environs.
[88] The monastery of ChuserChu gser was founded by Lochen Rinchen ZangpoLo chen rin chen bzang po in the 11th century CE (Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 324).
[89] The main informant was Trinlé Gyatso’Phrin las rgya mtsho (born in the Bird Year, circa 1933), the caretaker of Chuser GönpaChu gser dgon pa.
[90] My two main informants in RiwaRi ba were TseringTshe ring lhun grub (the monastery caretaker) and Ngödrup TendzinNgo grub btsan ’dzin (born in the Tiger Year, circa 1950). The village of Rinti GangRi sti gang (population of 170) has an extremely fine geographic setting in the midst of a relatively well-watered amphitheatre. On its low end is a rocky defile rising perhaps 500 m or more, which cuts the site off from the ZarangZa rang valley. Access from the ZarangZa rang valley to RiwaRi ba is via the Chuser LaChu gser la (4480 m). Below the village of RiwaRi ba there are the remains of another settlement called TiriSti ri. Reportedly, it was forcefully vacated circa 1970. According to local lore, RiwaRi ba was once considerably larger and more populous. The sheer number of archaeological sites at this locale seems to bear this out.
[91] For information on Lhakhang KarpoLha khang dkar po see Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 314, 315.
[92] For information on the Ri Jowari jo ba see Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Gugé Tsering Gyelpö Chetsom ChoktrikGu ge tshe ring rgyal po’i ched rtsom phyogs bsgrigs (Lhasa: Trunggö Bö Rikpa Petrün KhangKrung go’i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, 2005), 159-170.
[93] It is reported that in early 2004, a “MönMon” corpse was discovered in the vicinity by local inhabitants. A thin walled shard of unglazed redware (20 cm in length, 8 cm thick) detected on the surface during the survey was identified by local guides as part of a MönMon burial vessel.
[94] This chötenmchod rten must have been erected by the Buddhists to subdue negative influences emanating from the “MönMon” castle. The PukkharPhug mkhar site with its highly valuable hydrological resources would have continued to be inhabited during the era of Buddhist domination, as it is today. On a ridgline at the same general elevation, on the opposite side of the valley, there are three derelict chötenmchod rten, which are said to have been destroyed before living memory. Two other chötenmchod rten at the east foot of the PukkharPhug mkhar formation are reported to have been desecrated during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. These various chötenmchod rten of PukkharPhug mkhar appear to have served as instruments for the symbolic vanquishment of the site, reassuring Buddhist inhabitants that the older “MönMon” habitations would not cast a pall over their lives and aspirations.
[95] Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 146.
[96] Local people call this locale MukgyumMug gyum. Its yüllhayul lha is Mukgyamgi KhalamaMug gyam gyi kha la ma, a queen-like figure mounted on a white horse with a chopper (drigukgri gug) in her right hand and a lasso (zhakpazhags pa) in her left. A circa 13th century CE painting of this deity with her inscribed name is found at MangdrakMang brag, a cave temple located on the opposite (north) side of the Langchen TsangpoGlang chen gtsang po.
[97] Upstream of Mentang TangkhaMen thang thang kha, old agricultural lands are being brought back into production. Thorn forests are being cleared and a large irrigation project constructed. These farmlands extend upstream nearly as far as TsarangRtsa rang.
[98] Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po, Ngari ChöjungMnga’ ris chos ’byung, 235.
[99] Radiometric, sample no. Beta 235999; Conventional radiocarbon age: 1370 +/-70; 2 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1390 to 1170 BP (years before present); Intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve: Cal 1290 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1330 to 1270 BP.
[100] The founding of other temples in the vicinity of Pori NgedenSpos ri ngad ldan by these two Zhang ZhungZhang zhung personalities is recorded in the Tisé KarchakTi se dkar chag. See Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 59.
[101] See “Gangtsö Nyenkhor Gi Gönpa KhakGangs mtsho’i nye ’khor g.yi dgon khag,” Zhang Zhung RiknéZhang zhung rig gnas, 53: rgyal ba gshen (rab) gyi gsung gi bstan pa thog ma’i skabs mtsho yi shar phyogs spos ri ngad ldan gyi shar brgyud trag (= brag) lung na ba dmar ldeng bon phug tu drung mu khri rtse’i lha sde chen po zhes bya ba mkhan chen rdzu ’phrul ye shes dang ye shes tshul khrims bla slob kyi gdan sa yin cing mkhan po’i zhabs rjes kyang deng sang dgon shul gyi nye ri’i brag steng du mjal rgyu yod/.
[102] Gang Riwa Chöying DorjéGangs ri ba chos dbyings rdo rje, “Gang Tisé LogyüGangs ti se’i lo rgyus,” in Böjong NangtenBod ljongs nang bstan (Lhasa: bö jong shin haBod ljongs shin hwa, 1990), 58.
[103] kar ru drup wang ten dzin rin chenDkar ru grub dbang bstan ‘dzin rin chen, “Dzamling Ganggyel Tisé Karchak Tsangyang Yitrok’Dzam gling gangs rgyal ti se’i dkar chag tshangs dbyangs yid phrog.” in dzö puk tsa ba dang chi dön dang gang Tisé KarchakMdzod phug rtsa ba dang spyi don dang gangs ti se’i dkar chag (Dolanji: Tibetan Bonpo Monastic Centre: Dolanji, 1973), 520.
[104] Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods.
[105] Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods, 157, 158.
[106] John Vincent Bellezza, Divine Dyads: Ancient Civilization in Tibet, (Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1997), 403.
[107] Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods, 70; John M. Reynolds, The Oral Tradition from Zhang-Zhung: An Introduction to the Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings of the Oral Tradition from Zhang-zhung known as the Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud (Kathmandu: Vajra Publications, 2005), 135, 481.
[108] Samten Karmay, trans, The Treasury of Good Sayings: A Tibetan History of Bon, (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), 56, 147a.
[109] The most notable informants in KhyunglungKhyung lung included Mé Tsewang TendzinMes tshe dbang bstan ’dzin (horse year, 1930; often cited as the most knowledgeable surviving male in the village), Ipi DönselI phi don gsal (pig year, 1923), Ipi YangdzomI phi dbyangs ’dzoms (bird year, 1921), Ipi Tsering PeldrönI phi tshe ring dpal sgron (tiger year, 1926), and Sönam DargyéBsod nams dar rgyas (sheep year, 1943).
[110] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet.
[111] jik drel yé shé do jé‘jigs bral ye shes rdo rje, dü jom jik drel yé shé do jé sung bum dam chö rin chen nor bü bang dzöBdud 'joms 'jigs bral ye shes rdo rje'i gsung 'bum dam chos rin chen nor bu'i bang mdzod (Kalimpong: dupajung(?) amḌupjung ḷama. 1979-1985), vol. ka, no. 824
[112] According to Loppön Tendzin NamdakSlob dpon bstan ’dzin rnam dag, this site is probably connected to the Zhang Zhung Nyengyüzhang zhung snyan rgyud tradition.
[113] For additional information see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 120.
[114] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 59.
[115] This geographic lore was procured from ButiBu sti, a local drokpa’brog pa around 60 years of age. He is widely recognized in the area as an authority on the sacred geographic traditions of TakrongStag rong. He reports obtaining this information from various elders and, most notably, from a ngakpasngags pa named Trashi MönlamBkra shis smon lam who passed away some years ago.
[116] See “Gangtsö Nyenkhorgi Gönpa KhakGangs mtsho’i nye ’khor g.yi dgon khag,” in Zhang Zhung RiknéZhang zhung rig gnas, 53.
[117] A tutelary god of the Gekhöge khod cycle.
[118] See Zhang Zhung RiknéZhang zhung rig gnas, 21: rnam mkhyen ston pa gtso ’khor bcas/ rdzu ’phrul sprul pa’i ri la (rdzu ’phrul phug gi ri zer) sku ’chags nas/ shel brag ’khor lo rtsibs brgyad zhabs kyis bcags/ nag po bdud dang nyang srin dmag tshogs kyi/ cho ’phrul bstan nas brag ri thams cad bshig ston pa’i sku la rdo yi char pa phab/ de tshe ston pa’i thugs kyi ’od zer las/ lha klu mi yi gyad chen rtsal ldan sprul/ klu yis rmang (mi la ras pas bting ba yin zer) bting mi yi ’gram blangs shing / lha yis thog phug rdzu ’phrul gsang phug byung / ston pa’i sku rjes khye’u chung zhabs rjes dang / rtsal chen gyad kyi phyag rjes (rgod tshang pa’i yin zer) gsal par yod/ da lta rdzu ’phrul phug pa zhes su grags/.
[119] Circa 1890 CE, the charismatic Pema DegyelPad ma bde rgyal founded Namkha KhyungdzongNam mkha’ khyung rdzong monastery near the headwaters of the Maja TsangpoRma bya gtsang po (Karnali river).
[120] Sometimes amchungam chung (Little Rock Formation), a hill in the vicinity of the site, is appended to its name: Riu Amchung GönpaRi’u am chung dgon pa.
[121] Khyungkar Menriwa Loppön Tendzin NamdakKhyung dkar sman ri ba slob dpon bstan 'dzin rnam dag, Böyül Nekyi Lamyik Selwé MikbuBod yul gnas kyi lam yig gsal ba’i dmig bu (Dehli: Bökyi Böngön DolenjiBod kyi bon dgon do lan ji, 1983), 40. For biographical information about this prehistoric saint see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 211, 214, 284.
[122] Due to time limitations in the field, I am not able to provide the dimensions or more details about the various structures found at Lungten PukLung bstan phug.
[123] Chötenmchod rten with elongated bases and rows of small bumpabum pa, which were almost certainly built by the Bönpobon po, are found at the DodrilbuDo dril bu site at Trari NamtsoBkra ri gnam mtsho (B-13) (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 243) and on the north shore of DaroktsoDa rog mtsho (Bellezza, John Vincent. “A Preliminary Archaeological Survey of Da rog mtsho.” The Tibet Journal24, no. 1 [1999]: 66).
[124] For lore and textual information about this sacred mountain see Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods; Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[125] Possibly the spelling of this toponym should be AwangA wang, reflecting a Zhang ZhungZhang zhung language orthography. A place called AwangA wang that appears to be located in GugéGu ge is noted in conjunction with medieval military campaigns (Vitali, The Kingdoms of Gu.ge Pu.hrang, 827, n. 357).
[126] The first dimension given for the various dokhangrdo khang conforms to the tranverse plane of the slope.
[127] According to Loppön Tendzin NamdakSlob dpon bstan ’dzin rnam dag (in personal communication), this location is probably the same as Taktsé JaniStag rtse bya ni, which is associated with the YangelYa ngal clan of shengshen practitioners. Yangel Yangtön Chenpo Sherap GyeltsenYa ngal yang ston chen po shes rab rgyal mtshan is recorded as migrating from taktséStag rtse to LowoGlo bo in the 12th century CE (Guntram Hazod, “The Yul Lha Gsol of Mtsho Yul. On the relation between the mountain and lake in the context of the “land god ritual” of Phoksumdo (Northwestern Nepal),” in Reflections of the Mountain. Essays on the History and Social Meaning of the Mountain Cult in Tibet and the Himalaya, edited by Anne-Marie Blondeau and Ernst Steinkellner, 91-112 [Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1996]: 92).
[128] The pre-modern village of PulingSpu gling and its Communist period successor were founded on the same level stretch of ground. Each of the Communist period houses is erected inside its own compound.
[129] This site was documented by Pel Riwa Lozang TrashiDpal ri ba blo bzang bkra shis (Lecturer, Arts Department, Tibet University) and two of his Chinese colleagues, in July 2001. It was through his kind offices that I came to learn of Kyidrom GönpaSkyid sgrom dgon pa.
[130] This site was documented by Pel Riwa Lozang TrashiDpal ri ba blo bzang bkra shis in 2001.
[131] Rindzin ChömpelRig 'dzin chos 'phel, Pel Zimpuk Orgyen Chölinggi Jungwa Jöpa Kalzanggi GatönDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling gi byung ba brjod pa skal bzang gyi dga’ ston (Lha sa: Böjong Mimang Petrün KhangBod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 2006), 10. See textual tradition section in the B-124 entry for more information about this text.
[132] Illustrated in Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 188 (fig. 352).
[133] This mountain, an outlier of the Ayi LaA yi la Transhimalaya range, is distinguished from other peaks in the vicinity by a rock knob on its summit. MönbuMon bu is referred to as “son of the MönMon” on account of its ancestral function for the villagers of DungkarDung dkar, situated some 30 kms away. It name clearly suggests an association with the mon, that elusive tribe thought to have peopled much of Upper Tibet in ancient times.
[134] Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 294-299.
[135] There are three main agricultural pockets in nearby BarBar village (population: 106 persons). About half the total arable land holdings were under cultivation in 2004. It is reported that more or less half of the arable land-base is tilled in any one year. Water is cited as a limiting factor in grain production. BarBar produces enough barley, however, to meet the needs of its population. The availability of more water for irrigation may have led to larger harvests in ancient times, furnishing the economic buffer needed to support elite residential complexes.
[136] For a description of the funerary functions of totho see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 492-495.
[137] For descriptions of these ceremonial monuments see John Vincent Bellezza, “A Preliminary Archaeological Survey of Da rog mtsho,” The Tibet Journal24, no. 1 (1999): 66; Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 243. When writing about these structures with what appear to be multiple bumpabum pa, I was uncertain of their religious orientation. Having collected more information on the moumental assemblage of Upper Tibet since that time, I am now of the opinion that they have a non-Buddhist identity. This is indicated by their unsual design characteristics and their placement exclusively among archaic cultural mouments. At this juncture, the age of these ceremonial structures cannot be pinpointed. Given the evidence an early historic period origin must be entertained.
[138] I first noted the existence of this site in Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 394; Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 121.
[139] Ombu’Om bu village has been occupied for centuries as maintained in the village’s oral tradition. This is corroborated by the presence of all-stone basements underneath the oldest houses of the villages. These subterranean structures are called okkhang’og khang (B-56). See Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 138-140.
[140] Rindzin ChömpelRig 'dzin chos 'phel, Pel Zimpuk Orgyen ChölingDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling, 12, 13.
[141] Rindzin ChömpelRig 'dzin chos 'phel, Pel Zimpuk Orgyen ChölingDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling, 16.
[142] Rindzin ChömpelRig 'dzin chos 'phel, Pel Zimpuk Orgyen ChölingDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling, 16.
[143] Rindzin ChömpelRig 'dzin chos 'phel, Pel Zimpuk Orgyen ChölingDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling, 21-23.
[144] The current throne holder of Pel ZimpukDpal gzims phug is Künzang Namdröl Tupten Lungtok TendzinKun bzang rnam grol thub bstan lung rtogs bstan ’dzin, the ninth in the line of Pel ZimpukDpal gzims phug spiritual preceptors. He resides in a monastery near ZhikatséGzhis ka rtse called Pema LhundingPad ma lhun lding.
[145] The overhanging rock faces of the defile precluded the use of GPS.
[146] According to the great Tibetan intellectual Gendün ChömpelDge ’dun chos ’phel (1903-1951), the Tibetan stepped chötenmchod rten with a pair of yak horns on top between which khargongmkhar gong (a soft white stone) was placed is connected to the mukhardmu mkhar (receptacle for mudmu deities) of BönBon. The author notes that by looking at the more than 100,000 ruined and intact chötenmchod rten in India, we can know if the Tibetan chötenmchod rten of customary proportions is among their design, it is not. The four well-known types of chötenmchod rten in India have specifically attributed designs: 1) like a bubble, 2) head ornament, 3) bell, and 4) pile of grain. Gendün ChömpelDge 'dun chos 'phel also observes that in India Tormagtor ma (sacrifical cake) offerings of grain, bread, etc. were made, not the high-peaked Tormagtor ma designs of various ancient Tibetan rituals. The Tibetan ancestors preferred hats and Tormagtor ma in the shapes of mountains. They liked various lhatenlha rten (tabernacles) in the shape of very sharp mountain peaks. The author states his belief that these were part of Swastika BönBon practices. See Gndün ChömpelDge ‘dun chos ‘phel, Gendün Chömpelgi Sungtsom: Gyelkham Rikpé Korwé Tamgyü Sergi TangmaDge ’dun chos ’phel gyi gsung rtsom. rgyal khams rig pas bskor ba’i gtam rgyud gser gyi thang ma vol. 1 (Lha sa: Böjong Böyik Penying PetrünkhangBod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, 1994), 63, 64.
[147] This type of omoṃ has five distinct elements. From top to bottom they are: lekorklad kor (the mama or nganga), datsézla tshes, narosna ro, aa, and a chunga chung.
[148] It is difficult to know how developed the archaic cultural horizon settlement at Trashi DochungBkra shis do chung was because of the intensive reoccupation of the site by the Buddhists. This ongoing resettlement appears to have effaced various structural traces of the earlier epoch. The same can be said of JadoBya do (B-99), another important residential cave complex at NamtsoGnam mtsho. These two sites are discussed in Bellezza, Divine Dyads.
[149] The use of small craft to reach the island is recorded in a biography of the Buddhist saint, Gyelwa LorepaRgyal ba lo ras pa (1188-1251 CE) (Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 162–165). According to Loppön Tendzin NamdakSlob dpon bstan ’dzin rnam dag (in personal communication), boats were produced in ancient Upper Tibet by slaughtering onagers. The skin of an onager would form the hull, its bones were used for the frame and paddles, and its ligaments for binding the various elements of the craft.
[150] These personalities and others are noted in a neshégnas bshad for NamtsoGnam mtsho compiled by the late Taklung TsetrülStag lung rtse sprul in Böjong NangtenBod ljongs nang bstan (1991), as well as other Tibetan works. See Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 161–166. The original neshégnas bshad manuscript managed to survive the Chinese Cultural Revolution. This manuscript of some ten folios was gifted to Taklung TsetrülStag lung rtse sprul by the Trashi DoBkra shis dongakpasngags pa, A TopA thob. Over the years, A TopA thob has accompanied me on a number of explorations around NamtsoGnam mtsho, for which I am most grateful. His knowledge of NamtsoGnam mtsho culture, geography and religion has been of great help to me.
[151] As documented in the tak lung chö jungStag lung chos ’byung. See Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 167–173.
[152] Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 161.
[153] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 60,61.
[154] Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 110; Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods, 314-316.
[155] Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 162.
[156] A piece off the protruding end of the rafter was cut off for sampling. This approximately 10 cm in diameter rafter is in excellent physical condition (the cut piece still emitted the fragrant scent of juniper heartwood). Scrub juniper (bamaba ma), albeit in small amounts, still grows on SemodoSe mo do. Radiometric, sample no. Beta 236000; Conventional radiocarbon age: 1180 +/-BP50; 2 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1260 to 1020 BP (years before present): 1950 CE; Intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve: Cal 1070 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1170 to 1050 BP.
[157] Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 162.
[158] Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 162.
[159] See kang tuk en ten dzin nam gyelRkang bstugs and bstan ‘dzin rnam rgyal, ed. Nyenchen Tanglha Dang Namtso Chukmö Neshé Dzubmo RitönGnyan chen thang lha dang gnam mtsho phyug mo’i gnas bshad mdzub mo ri ston (Lha sa: Böjong Mimang Petrün KhangBod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 2003), 21; Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 162.
[160] See Drupwang Gongmi Jingi Lapwé NéGrub dbang gong mi’i byin gyis brlabs ba’i gnas, by Kalzang ChödrakSkal bzang chos grags (published by PelgönDpal mgon county in 1991), 12. For other references to Drabü NgongenBra bu’i ngo ngan (name spelled in various ways) see Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 40, 119, 161, 212, 220 (n. 11), 264, 265; 2001, 79-81; 2008, 261 (n. 172).
[161] For biographical accounts of this important BönBon saint see Karmay, The Treasury of Good Sayings, 97-99; Namkhai Norbu, Drung, Deu and Bön: Narrations, Symbolic Languages, and the Bön Traditions in Ancient Tibet, trans. Adriano Clemente, Andrew Lukianowicz (Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1995), 214-216; John Vincent Bellezza, “A Preliminary Archaeological Survey of Da rog mtsho.” The Tibet Journal24, no. 1 (1999): 79-81 (n. 25); Reynolds, The Oral Tradition from Zhang-Zhung, 100-103, 448-450.
[162] There were 15 major ancient insular settlements in Upper Tibet (some of the islands have since become headlands due to the receding of the lake waters). They include: SemoSe mo East (B-126) and SemodoSe mo do West (B-127) in NamtsoGnam mtsho; Serdo KhangchenSer do khang chen in Tso NgonmoMtsho sngon mo (not yet surveyed); Podo GongmaSpos do gong ma (B-11), Podo SharmaSpos do shar ma (B-12) and DodrilbuDo dril bu (B-13) in Trari NamtsoBkra ri gnam mtsho; ZhapjéZhabs rjes (B-15), DotagaDo rta sga East (B-128), DotagaDo rta sga South (B-129) and DodrilbuDo dril bu (B-130) in DaroktsoDa rog mtsho; TsodoMtsho do (B-131) in Ngangla RingtsoNgang la ring mtsho; DoserDo ser (B-132) and DomukDo smug (B-133) in Langa TsoLa lnga mtsho; Gönpé DoDgon pa’i do (B-37) in Tsomo Ngangla RingtsoMtsho mo ngang la ring mtsho; and Mikpa KharruRmigs pa mkhar ru (A-37) in LokpuktsoGlog phug mtsho.
[163] In midwinter drokpa’brog pa of the region spend ten to 15 days on TsodoMtsho do grazing their livestock. They have built corrals on the southeast side of the island at a location called KochungKo chung (sp.?). These shepherds and their animals repeatedly cross back and forth to the mainland to obtain drinking water.
[164] In addition to springs, freshwater may have come from seepage pits built on the beach or from collection points such as tanks or even furrows and crevices in the rocky outcrops of the island.
[165] For BönBon lore on Dralé GyelmoSgra bla’i rgyal mo and Langa TsoLa lnga mtsho see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 309, 312, 313, 325-331.
[166] Ironically, not even our local guide (who has repeatedly visited DoserDo ser with his flock of goats and sheep) was aware of the ancient ruins located here. This reflects the extreme obscurity of the site to the contemporary inhabitants, a not uncommon situation as regards archaic cultural remains all over Upper Tibet.
[167] The validity of the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung name of the mountain (TanggyungStang rgyung) is confirmed by its pronunciation in the local dialect. According to the recently published work Pel Zimpuk Orgyen ChölingDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling, this mountain is the residence of a Tenma ChunyiBstan ma bcu gnyis goddess and was brought into the Buddhist fold by the oath-administering Guru RinpochéGu ru rin po che (Rindzin ChömpelRig 'dzin chos 'phel, Pel Zimpuk Orgyen ChölingDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling, 6). Takhyung Namgi KawaRta khyung gnam gyi ka ba is also associated with the epic hero Ling GesarGling ge sar (Rindzin ChömpelRig 'dzin chos 'phel, Pel Zimpuk Orgyen ChölingDpal gzims phug o rgyan chos gling, 6). According to Guru Rinpoché Sungpé Gyelngen LhasangGu ru rin po ches gsung pa’i rgyal brngan lha bsang, an incense offering text housed at Pel ZimpukDpal gzims phug, one of the TenmaBstan ma goddesses is Mating TingmoMa ting ting mo (Guru RinpochéGu ru rin po che, “Guru Rinpoché Sungpé Gyelngen LhasangGu ru rin po ches gsung pa’i rgyal brngan lha bsang.” (Unpublished text housed at Pel ZimpukDpal gzims phug Monastery, nd), folio 29a). According to Rindzin ChömpelRig ’dzin chos ’phel (the abbot) and other senior residents of Pel ZimpukDpal gzims phug, Mating TingmoMa ting ting mo is the goddess of Takhyung Namgi KawaRta khyung gnam gyi ka ba. Her name, which is of Zhang ZhungZhang zhung origin, indicates that she is a female personification of water (tingting). As such, she may have been the original goddess of Zimpuk TsoGzims phug mtsho and the consort of TanggyungStang rgyung. Currently little or no divine lore is attached to Zimpuk TsoGzims phug mtsho.
[168] For background information on the clans and territorial divisions of old ZhungpaGzhung pa, see John Vincent Bellezza. Zhang Zhung: Foundations of Civilization in Tibet. A Historical and Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Monuments, Rock Art, Texts and Oral Tradition of the Ancient Tibetan Upland. (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2008), 265.
[169] This lake and basin is not to be confused with the much better known and larger Tsakha TsatsoTshwa kha tshwa mtsho located near the TsakhaTshwa kha township headquarters. In Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, I treat Naklhé DoringNag lhas rdo ring Northeast as a discrete type II.1a site (C-17). The 2007 survey of the site, however, revealed that it is rather a type II.1b monument, albeit highly aberrant in form.
[170] A local territorial deity is Ama MentsiA ma sman rtsis (sp.?), whose home is a mountain to the west. The RisumRi gsum township official who accompanied the survey team to the site did not know whether this is the deity propitiated at the archaeological site.
[171] There are also outlying funerary structures at Pamo DrenkhyerDpa’ mo ’dre ’khyer (C-141), a pillar array in RutokRu thog. The existence of these structures is not noted in a description of the site (John Vincent Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet: Archaeological Discoveries on the High Plateau. [Delhi: Adroit, 2001], 178). Several tens of meters east of the pillar array there are at least three highly fragmentary funerary enclosures at Pamo DrenkhyerDpa’ mo ’dre ’khyer. There are also at least three funerary enclosures situated north of this array of pillars. Most of the stones have been extracted from these structures, perhaps to use in the construction of nearby corrals. Eroded depressions in the middle of some of the enclosures suggest that they were excavated at one time.
[172] This name was assigned to the site because is does not have a local appellation.
[173] At the head of the DoringRdo ring valley there is the sacred mountain Doring PurgyungRdo ring phur rgyung/GyungGyung. Doring PurgyungRdo ring phur rgyung is considered to be the younger brother of ArgyungAr rgyung, a large snow mountain in SagaSa dga’. Along with the widely known ShelgyungShel rgyung in the RukyokRu skyog area of SagaSa dga’, these three mountains are collectively called Tökyi Gyungpo PünsumStod kyi rgyung po spun gsum by the region’s inhabitants.
[174] For information on these important sacred mountains see John. Vincent Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet: An Inventory of Pre-Buddhist Archaeological Sites on the High Plateau (Delhi: Adroit, 2002), 334–338.
[175] The other example is the enclosure of Mertum Pima DoringMer btum pis ma rdo ring. The last several meters of its west end are wider than the bulk of this enclosure. For a description of this site see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 225–227.
[176] The DzatsokRdza tshogs basin covers many square kilometers and contains mud sloughs. During the survey a 10 km roundtrip was made across this basin. The DzatsokRdza tshogs basin was traversed on foot in the dry season with difficulty but without danger. Local drokpa’brog pa report that livestock have been sucked down into the mud. A middle-aged resident is also said to have perished in it.
[177] For cultural lore about this mountain see John Vincent Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods: Spirit-Mediums, Sacred Mountains and Related Bon Textual Traditions in Upper Tibet. Tibetan Studies Library no. 8 (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 80, 298.
[178] The most important source for information on the oral traditions of Khangmar DzashakKhang dmar rdza shag and nearby Ronggo MöndurRong mgo mon dur (D-73) was Karma TsültrimKarma tshul khrims (born Iron Dragon Year, circa 1940), the steward (gönnyerdgon gnyer) of Lowo DechenLo bo bde chen monastery. This Karma Kagyükarma bka’ brgyud monastery is located in the GertséSger rtse portion of JangmaByang ma (formerly part of Drongpa Tsogu’Brong pa tsho dgu). Rather than the commonly held belief that Khangmar DzashakKhang dmar rdza shag and other archaic cultural sites of this region were built by the ancient MönMon, Karma TsültrimKarma tshul khrims subscribes to the view that they were constructed by the Zhang ZhungpaZhang zhung pa, the most prominent ancient tribe in the region. Karma TsültrimKarma tshul khrims explains that according to the oral traditions of JangmaByang ma and GertséSger rtse, there were two ancient groups in the region: the MönMon and the Jangwa HashéByang ba ha shes (not to be confused with the HasakkaHa sag ka, the Kazaks, best known in the region for their raids of the 1930s and 1940s). In the local oral tradition, the MönMon and Jangwa HashéByang ba ha shes are thought to have been closely related to one another, and to have long disappeared before the Tibetan drokpa’brog pa of the region arrived. Given their northern designation and the orthography of the second word of the ethnonym, the Jangwa HashéByang ba ha shes are probably of north Inner Asian origin. A correlation with the ample archaeological and textual evidence demonstrating that Upper Tibet had manifold links with north Inner Asia in the prehistoric epoch (see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.) may well be indicated.
[179] Foot bones extracted from the FS2 tomb have yielded a radiocarbon age of circa 800 BCE. Tomb FS2: AMS analysis, sample no. Beta-187501; Conventional radiocarbon age: 2740 +/- 40 BP; 2 Sigma calibrated result (95 percent probability): Cal 2920 to 2760 BP; intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve Cal 2840 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated result (68 percent probability): 2870 to 2780 BP. FS2 is interjacent to the east and central complexes, giving the impression that it was a constituent part of the necropolis. The relative location of the dated tomb remains suggests that the stelae and accompanying temple-tombs were an integral part of the same umbrella of funerary traditions. If so, it demonstrates that the Upper Tibetans were raising pillars contemporaneously with the Scythic tribes of north Inner Asia. This relatively early date (early Iron Age) may also suggest that the arrays of pillars appended to edifices were built and maintained over many centuries. More chronometric data from such sites is needed in order to refine our understanding of their origins, development and demise.
[180] This tale about the magical she goat was collected from Lozang TenpaBlo bzang bstan pa (born in Fire Tiger Year, circa 1926), a former chief representative of the NamruGnam rudzongpönrdzong dpon (district head) under the old LhasaLha sa government and a member of the NakchuNag chu Political Consultative Committee under the Chinese Communists. The same story (with minor differences) was also related by the late Pönkya Powo LhawangDpon skya pho bo lha dbang (1935–2005) the great spirit-medium (lhapalha pa) of RingpaRing pa.
[181] NgoringSngo ring was discovered by the Roerich Central Asian Expedition (RCAE) on March 23, 1928. George Roerich reports that three menhirs were found with stone slabs arranged around them in a square (George N. Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia: Five Years of Exploration with the Roerich Central Asian Expedition. reprint edition, (Delhi: Book Faith India, 1996), 416, 417). He notes that no traces of libations were found at the site, and he concludes that this “sanctuary” was probably abandoned a long time ago. Roerich characterized the menhirs discovered on the RCAE as pre-Buddhistic sites, belonging to a phase in Tibetan history dominated by “primitive Bön” (Roerich. Trails to Inmost Asia. 355). After discovering the menhirs, Roerich tells us that the RCAE camped at a location called Ratri, 22 miles southwest of Do-ring (see C-162), and from there around the north side of Gomang TsoSgo mang mtsho the next day. Ratri is described by Roerich as a locale with granite slopes. Ratri can be no other than ratraRa gra (sp.?) (31° 19.1΄ N. long. / 89° 15.1΄ E. long. / 4680 m), a location a little downstream of NgoringSngo ring (this general area is dominated by granite formations). Inquiries with local drokpa’brog pa revealed that there is no other place in the Gomang TsoSgo mang mtsho basin with a name that, in the HorHor dialect, is phonetically similar to “Ratri.” Furthermore, in his account, Roerich notes that Ratri is located 22 miles south of the megalithic site of Do-ring. Roerich’s Do-ring has been identified as DoringRdo ring South (31° 22.7 N. lat. / 89° 26.0 E. long.), situated 22 km (as the crow flies) northeast of NgoringSngo ring (see C-162) and 25 km northeast of ratraRa gra. For more details about Roerich’s archaeological discoveries near ratraRa gra, see entry D-86.
[182] Northern GertséSger rtse is populated by members of the Ngoro KorchéRngo ro skor mched tribe of KhampaKhams pa origins. There is also a small admixture of HorpaHor pa blood in the local population, as well as that from the adjoining regions of NaktsangNag tshang and possibly SenkhorBse ’khor. As the present-day population migrated to the northern JangtangByang thang only over the last three hundred years, oral traditions concerning archaic archaeological sites in the region tend to be weak.
[183] Just two days before the survey (October 11, 2002), local drokpa’brog pa report that two men of the Hui ethnic nationality asked them if they could dig at the site. These men told the drokpa’brog pa that there were many valuables to be found under the ground at KyiserSkyid gser. To their credit, the drokpa’brog pa did not allow the excavation of the site. The same drokpa’brog pa report that in the late 1980s, Hui men excavated a tomb at KyiserSkyid gser. They are said to have found a copper vessel full of objects. During the survey a small spoon-like disc of worked copper was found discarded among the array of pillars. It has a short tang with two small perforations. This object may have come from the illicit excavation.
[184] Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[185] For a survey of Khyunglung Ngül KharKhyung lung dngul mkhar see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 37–43; John Vincent Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung Paleocultural Entity: A Comparative Analysis of Archaeological Evidence and Popular Bon Literary Sources.” Paper prepared for the International Association of Tibetan Studies Conference X, Oxford, 2003. Currently in press. I was first informed about ChunakChu nag by the late Tendzin WangdrakBstan ’dzin dbang grags (who was the seniormost BönBon lama in NgariMnga’ ris) and other monks of Guru GyamGu ru gyam monastery some years before the actual survey took place. Members of my survey team passed on information about ChunakChu nag to Hui Wei and Li Yongxian, archaeologists at Sichuan University, who conducted a detailed survey of the site in 2005. Their findings were presented at the 11th International Association of Tibetan Studies conference in Bonn.
[186] Takri TrawoStag ri khra bo is the old BönBon name for Nemona NyiGnas mo sna gnyis, the huge 7728 m high massif in PurangSpu rang. The use of this name for a much smaller and less significant mountain in the region may possibly be an example of toponymic transference, whereby ancient names were preserved by relegating them to more minor cultural roles. In the process of Buddhacization Nemona NyiGnas mo sna gnyis, a mountain associated with the Indian goddess of learning, SarasvatI, may have been viewed as too important to be permitted to retain its earlier cultural mantle.
[187] Perhaps the Dowa SumpaRdo ba gsum pa pillars acted as inspiration for the creation of the famous tabular stele in ZhidéZhi bde. This stele has a lovely bas relief image of Pakpa Chenrezik’Phags pa spyan ras gzigs on one of its broad sides, and on its two narrow sides there are inscriptions celebrating the cult of this deity. This stele was probably made in the 10th century CE as part of the definitive conversion of the region to Buddhism.
[188] The geographic and cultural parameters associated with Zhang ZhungZhang zhung are discussed at length in Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[189] For a photograph of the site, see Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia, 416 ff. In an entry dated March 22, George Roerich wrote (Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia, 415, 416): After a sixteen-mile march we camped in a narrow valley sheltered by undulating, grassy hills. The place was called Do-ring or “The Long Stone” because of curious megalithic monuments found in its vicinity. These monuments were the first of that kind discovered in Tibet…The megalithic monuments of Do-ring, situated some thirty miles south of the great salt lake of Pang-gong tsho-cha, date back to the pre-Buddhistic period of Tibetan history. They consist of important alinements of eighteen rows of erect stone slabs. Each of these alignments were drawn from east to west, having at its western extremity a cromlech or stone circle consisting of several menhirs arranged more or less in a circle. The menhirs are vertically placed with a crude stone table or altar in front of them. It was evidently a sanctuary of some primitive cult. But what was its age and use? If one compares the famous megalithic monuments of Carnac in Brittany, to the discovered megaliths of Tibet, he is at once struck by the remarkable similarity of the two sets of monuments. The Carnac alinements are situated from east to west and have at their western extremity a cromlech or circle of stones. The Do-ring monuments have precisely the same arrangement. The sacerdotal use of the Carnac monuments remains unknown to the present day, although numerous explanatory theories are advanced. It seems to me that we possess a clue to the explanation of the megalithic structures of northern Tibet. The megalithic monuments of Do-ring have a large figure in the shape of an arrow laid out with stone slabs, and situated at the eastern extremity of the alinement with its point towards the alinement. The arrow is an important symbol in the ancient nature cult of Tibet, and is connected to the cult of the sun and heavenly fire in the form of lightning, which it symbolizes… The presence of the arrow figure at the eastern extremity of the Do-ring monuments indicates that the whole structure was dedicated to some nature cult and very possibly to that of the sun, of which the arrow is a symbol. This is an important conclusion, since up to now no megalithic monuments could be satisfactorily explained. Although Roerich’s description of DoringRdo ring (South) is generally sound, there are several mischaracterizations that have crept into it. These, at least in part, can be attributed to the difficulties of coming across an ancient monument for the very first time in tough environmental conditions. Another problem is that Roerich was intent on comparing DoringRdo ring (South) with Carnac, a continent away, a monument which, in fact, has only limited morphological similarity to the one in Tibet. In the eastern half of the highly degraded pillar and slab array, Roerich visualized an arrow structure made of stone slabs, for which there is no empirical evidence (no stone arrow has been found at any of the arrays of pillars surveyed to date). This detracts from Roerich’s assertion that the symbolism of the arrow should be taken as the prime instrument for interpreting the function of the site. This does not necessarily mean, however, that the arrow and its symbolism did not figure into the ceremonial exercises carried out at the site, for as Roerich rightly notes, the arrow is an ancient Tibetan ritual object. The reported existence of a cromlech or ring of stones on the west end of the site also does not bear well with the empirical evidence. In fact, the walls referred to form a quadrate enclosure. The crude stone table or altar Roerich describes no longer exists. This structure was probably a ritual cairn (latséla btsas or lhatolha tho) of later origins, which was used by local drokpa’brog pa to propitiate personal, household and/or territorial deities. Many such structures were destroyed in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Finally, it should be noted that DoringRdo ring (South) is located 20 miles (as the crow flies), not 30 miles, south of the alkaline lake and flats known as Drangkhok TsoBrang khog mtsho and 20 miles southwest of the giant salt lake Serling TsoSer gling mtsho (either one of which is Roerich’s Pang-gong tsho-cha). In John Vincent Bellezza, “Doring Revisited.” Himal8, no. 3 (1995), 29-32, I describe my 1994 exploration of a site known as Chöten GyawaMchod rten brgya ba located a few kilometers northwest of Bülkar TsoBul dkar mtsho (White Soda Lake), in old NamruGnam ru district. This site features ten rows of cairns with ten cairns in each row, which are said to have been erected by Guru RinpochéGu ru rin po che in order to stem floodwaters arising from Bülkar TsoBul dkar mtsho. I provisionally identified this site as Roerich’s Do-ring, believing that it had been architecturally modified in order to bring it within the remit of Tibetan Buddhism. It is now clear, however, that Do-ring is no other than DoringRdo ring (South). It must be noted that similar rows of cairns are found at the eponymous funerary site of Chöten GyawaMchod rten brgya ba (D-6) in ShentsaShan rtsa. The precise archaeological composition of the Bülkar TsoBul dkar mtshoChöten GyawaMchod rten brgya ba site, however, has yet to be determined.
[190] Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia.
[191] Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia, 416 ff.
[192] The border of Tibet (Bod) and Zhang ZhungZhang zhung is discussed using textual and archaeological data in Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung Paleocultural Entity.”
[193] In this particular case, the pared down survey team was on horseback and had to cross back to our camps on the north side of the frozen Yarlung TsangpoYar lung gtsang po before nightfall.
[194] For an analysis of the Slab Grave culture and its affinities to the Upper Tibetan paleocultural complexion see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 123–126.
[195] In the pre-Communist period this locale was part of the JangmaByang ma district (tsopatsho pa) of Drongpa Tsogu’Brong pa tsho dgu, not GertséSger rtse.
[196] According to Nyingchak GyelSnying lcags rgyal (in personal communication), a researcher at the Tibetan Autonomous Region Museum, who was on the 2001 Chinese archaeological expedition to DingdumSdings zlum, the name of the site is TingtongRting stong (Brown Bear).
[197] It is in close proximity to the west bench that Mark Aldenderfer and his Chinese colleagues carried out important archaeological excavations in 2001 (31° 40.20΄ N. lat. / 79° 49.14΄ E. long.). They refer to this site phonetically as “Dindun.” In unearthed residential structures, dated 550 to 100 BCE, this team discovered domestic pillars and other artifacts. See Aldenderfer, Mark. “A New Class of Standing Stone from the Tibetan Plateau.” The Tibet Journal28, nos. 1-2 (2003): 3-20; Mark Aldenderfer, and Holley Moyes, “Excavations at Dindun, a Pre-Buddhist Village Site in Far Western Tibet,” in Proceedings of the International Conference on Tibetan Archaeology and Art, ed. Huo Wei and Li Yongxian (Chengdu: Center for Tibetan Studies, Sichuan Union University, 2004).
[198] These excavations at DingdumSdings zlum were carried out by Huo Wei, Mark Aldenderfer and their various colleagues in 2001. Ten of the 27 tombs charted at the site (60,000 m²) were excavated. A radiometric assay of a sample (type not specified in text) from DingdumSdings zlum M6 furnished a date of 2370 +/- 80 BP. See Chinese Institute of Tibetology, Sichuan University, “Trial Excavation of Ancient Tombs on the Piyang-Donggar Site in Zanda County, Tibet,” Kaogu6 (2001): 14-31. The scant chronometric evidence assembled suggests that the tombs of DingdumSdings zlum belong to the Iron Age. In the present survey, 23 funerary structures (including the 10 specimens that were excavated) have been documented. The locations of the other four specimens noted in the above study are not clear.
[199] The measured maximum depth of the grave pits in this inventory may be at variance with their original depth, as a few instances of infilling (since the time the excavations were carried out) were observed.
[200] The main territorial god (yüllhayul lha) of Trashi GangBkra shis sgang is LhagöLha rgod, whose residence is a rocky mountain on the opposite side of the Senggé TsangpoSeng ge gtsang po valley.
[201] Vitali, Roberto. Records of Tho.ling: A Literary and Visual Reconstruction of the “Mother” Monastery in Gu.ge (Dharamsala: High Asia, Amnye Machen Institute, 1999), 48.
[202] For detailed information on Trashi Gang GönpaBkra shis sgang dgon pa, see Gugé Tsering GyelpoGu ge tshe ring rgyal po. Ngari Chömjung Gangjong DzegyenMnga’ ris chos ’byung gangs ljongs mdzes rgyan (Lha sa: Bö Jong Mimang Petrün KhangBod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 2006), 78–92.
[203] Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[204] Some kilometers further down the main valley, the entire valley floor was mined for gold. Around a 5 km length of the valley was completely destroyed. Needless to say, in this delicate high-altitude environment it will take centuries before the ecological integrity and pastoral value of the mined area is fully restored. This is one of dozens of open pit gold mines observed during the survey work. These mining operations were mainly carried out between 1998 and 2006. The open pit mines have decimated river valleys and pasturelands in areas as large as 30 km².
[205] Among the most notable informants in BartaBar tha were Minyak KhachéMi nyag kha che (born in Pig Year, circa 1935), Ngawang KarmaNgag dbang karma (born in Water Bird Year, circa 1933), Markhuk Trashi TopgyelDmar khug bkra shis stobs rgyal (born circa 1920), Sritar TseringSri thar tshe ring (born in Dog Year, circa 1934) and Godzi TobéSgo dzi to be (born in Iron Dragon Year, circa 1939).
[206] Little attempt was made to record the height of the forward flank in specimens FS148 to FS187. Refer to General site charcteristics for the height ranges of the various sized funerary structures.
[207] For information about these two sacred mountains, see Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods.
[208] Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang zhung Paleocultural Entity.”; Bellezza, Zhang Zhung.
[209] SangkharBsang mkhar was discovered by the Roerich Central Asian Expedition (RCAE) on March 23, 1928. George Roerich (Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia, 416, 417) reports that his father Nicholas found several graves near their camp, which was in a side glen known as Ratri. These graves are described as being enclosed by stones arranged in a square. The graves are said to be laid out east-west. The Roerich account also states that a large boulder stood on the eastern extremity of these graves. He hypothesized that the heads of the corpse pointed east. Roerich believed that these graves probably date to the Neolithic, and that they were chronologically related to the megalithic monuments of the region. Ratri is stated to be 22 miles southwest of the megalithic site of Do-ring. On March 24, the RCAE traveled around the north side of Gomang TsoSgo mang mtsho (Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia, 418). Ratri is described by Roerich as a locale with granite slopes. Ratri can be confidentially identified with ratraRa gra (sp.?) (31° 19.1΄ N. long. / 89° 15.1΄ E. long. / 4680 m), a location approximately 2 km downstream of SangkharBsang mkhar (this general area is dominated by granite formations). Inquiries with local drokpa’brog pa revealed that there is no other place in the Gomang TsoSgo mang mtsho basin with a name that is phonetically similar to “Ratri.” It was also determined that there were no funerary structures in ratraRa gra proper. Roerich’s Do-ring has been pinpointed as DoringRdo ring South (31° 22.7 N. lat. / 89° 26.0 E. long.), situated 25 km (as the crow flies) northeast of ratraRa gra (see C-162). It should be noted that the distance given by Roerich between these two points represents the ground covered by the RCAE overland through rugged mountainous terrain. While the funerary structures (they also could have ritual functions aside from burial) of ratraRa gra do not securely date to the Neolithic, they do certainly belong to the archaic cultural horizon of Upper Tibet. It should also be observed that only FS1 possibly has a large headstone on the east side of the structure. For more details about Roerich’s archaeological discoveries, see C-37.
[210] This site may also be called Tsukgi MöndurGtsug gi mon dur (Mön Tombs of the [Rocky] Crown).
[211] Some of the arable land of Omlong’Om long (named for its tamarisk trees) was brought back into cultivation in the Chinese Cultural Revolution and is still farmed. The most extensive farmlands still tilled in RecoRe co are found in the RamaRa ma valley. The viable barley fields of RamaRa ma are but a small fraction of the area once under cultivation. The other branch valleys of RecoRe co, DzakarRdza dkar, NyadrakNya brag, LungkarLung dkar, GokraSgog ra (sp.?), PangSpang, NgakkhangNgag khang (sp.?) and an unnamed valley, are reported not to have defunct arable lands.
[212] According to this individual, his clan lineage is derived from the Sokpo DedünSog po sde bdun, traditionally seven leading households of Damzhung’Dam gzhung, which are of Mongol origins. This clan grouping has control of a local protective deity known as Sungma MarnakSrung ma dmar nag.
[213] Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 127, 128.
[214] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 162.
[215] Due to time limitations and a raging sandstorm, the survey of Chepu MöndoraChad phu mon rdo ra was kept fairly cursory.
[216] See Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 478, 479, 518, 519.
[217] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 98. After Helmut Hoffmann, The Religions of Tibet, (New York: MacMillian, 1961).
[218] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 34; Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 98-99.
[219] Bellezza, Zhang zhung.
[220] The skull fragment from EndritséAn ’bri rtse site (FS3) underwent AMS analysis: sample no. Beta-200756; Conventional Radiocarbon age: 180 +/-40 BP. The recent age of the assayed specimen may possibly be explained by its deposition through happenstance or as part of an adventitious burial that relied on the pre-existing tomb. It is also possible that the exposed bone fragment was subject to infiltration by foreign organic substances biasing the test results. The chronology of the mountaintop cubic tomb typology is problematic and is discussed in Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 139, 141.
[221] oroko rog is the word for crow (porokpo rog) in the local dialect.
[222] FS5: AMS analysis, sample no. Beta-200757; conventional radiocarbon age: 940 +/-50 BP; 2 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 950 to 740 BP; intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve: Cal 910 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 930 to 780 BP.
[223] Oma Tso’O ma mtsho is so named because its opaque waters resemble milk.
[224] FS7: AMS analysis, sample no. Beta-187502; conventional radiocarbon age: 220 +/-40 BP.
[225] This site may also be called Tsukgi MöndurGtsug gi mon dur (MönMon Tombs of the [Rocky] Crown).
[226] S. W. Bushell, “The Early History of Tibet. From Chinese Sources,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 12 (1880): 527 n. 9.
[227] Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet.
[228] Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet; Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet; Bellezza, Zhang zhung.
[229] Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 182-184.
[230] These timbers are found in a cavity that formed through damage to the structure. The three tamarisk rounds act as internal support for the southwest wall. The removal of a full cross-section from two of the three timbers revealed remarkably intact heartwood (thanks to the frigid, high elevation sterile environment). Tamarisk still grows nearby in the lower ShangShang valley. Given the availability of this species of wood in the locale, the fairly small girth of the members, and the exclusive nature of the site, it seems likely that the tamarisk rounds were specially cut for use in the Khyinak RongKhyi nag rong building project. An assay of the Khyinak RongKhyi nag rong samples yielded the following results: radiometric, sample no. Beta-212490; conventional radiocarbon age: 1690 +/-50 BP; 2 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1710 to 1510 BP; Intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve: Cal 1570 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1690 to 1660 BP and 1630 to 1540 BP. Radiometric, sample no. Beta-212491; Conventional radiocarbon age: 1660 +/-60 BP; 2 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1710 to 1410 BP; intercept of radiocarbon age with calibration curve: Cal 1550 BP; 1 Sigma calibrated result: Cal 1610 to 1520 BP.
[231] For a description of BönBon monuments known as totho, see Bellezza, Zhang Zhung, 492–495.
[232] For the 1999 survey of this site, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 88-89.
[233] For historical references taken from both primary and secondary sources and earlier survey information concerning Dangra Khyung DzongDang ra khyung rdzong, see John Vincent Bellezza. Divine Dyads: Ancient Civilization in Tibet (Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1997), 385-387, 412-414; Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 92-93; Bellezza, “Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung.”
[234] Dzokpa Chenpo Yangtsé LongchenRdzogs pa chen po yang rtse klong chen, 107; Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 117.
[235] KyisumSkyid gsum is home to Kyisum LadrangSkyid gsum bla brang (established circa 1100 CE), a Zhang Zhung NyengyüZhang zhung snyan rgyud facility that managed to escape complete destruction during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
[236] For the 2000 survey of this site, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 76, 77.
[237] For the 1999 CCE survey of this site, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 169, 170.
[238] For details of the 1997 survey, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 227.
[239] For the 2000 survey of this site, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 107, 108.
[240] This region is traditionally known as Naktsang PöntöNag tshang dpon stod.
[241] For the 2000 survey of this site, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 110.
[242] For a description of Doring ChakraRdo ring lcags ra, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 110, 111.
[243] For details of the 2000 survey, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 119, 120.
[244] For more information on this mountain god see Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods, 18, 101, 145, 287, 295–298.
[245] For the 1999 survey of this site, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 131, 132.
[246] For details of the 1999 survey, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 189.
[247] For details of the 1999 survey, see Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, 156-157.
[248] The word ngang pangang pa (goose) refers to the color orange in horses.
[249] The initial survey of this site is recorded in Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 262-263.
[250] I have suggested that the fantastic pyramids or cones of dried earth that the so-called pundit Kishen Singh discovered at Jador (JadoBya do) (also on the north shore of NamtsoGnam mtsho) actually refer to the pyramidal rock formations of Tamchok Ngangpa DoRta mchog ngang pa do. In the account of Kishen Singh’s 1872 journey to the region, compiled by Lt. Colonel T. G. Montgomery, it notes that one of the supposed pyramids had an opening in the center, which was used by an ancient saint upon his death to ascend to heaven. The central passageway so described and the conical or pyramidal form of the structure certainly recalls the “horse’s ears” of Tamchok Ngangpa DoRta mchog ngang pa do. See Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 251-252,262. What is clear from the present author’s acquaintance with the NamtsoGnam mtsho region (spanning more than two decades) is that there are no giant manmade pyramids to be found there.
[251] This phonetic and semantic convergence is discussed in Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 284 (n. 32).
[252] The inscriptions and pictographs of Tamchok Ngangpa DoRta mchog ngang pa do (J-21) will be treated in a forthcoming inventory of Upper Tibetan rock art sites.
[253] The classification of individual sites is made according to the most prominent type of monument found at each location. A good number of sites, nevertheless, have more than one kind of archaeological remains.
[254] Due to the extreme degradation of certain sites, their precise residential architectural composition could not be determined.
[255] Question marks in this column denote that the subtype noted is uncertain.
[256] DraGra/dramagra ma is a woody shrub that grows in certain parts of Upper Tibet.
[257] This appears to be the best spelling, reflecting the etymological basis of the site designation. See Bellezza, Calling Down the Gods, 406 (n. 222).
[258] In Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, I refer to this site as Pangmar Zhungkhang GokSpang dmar gzhung khang gog (Marshy Red Pasture Ruined Habitations). I have now determined that this is a corrupted designation of the site.
[259] The name of an important BönBon tutelary god.
[260] The name of a popular Tibetan goddess.
[261] Tisti appears to be a spelling for the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung word for water. It is also sometimes rendered: tigti/titi.
[262] Due to the extreme degradation of certain sites, their precise residential architectural composition could not be determined.
[263] I have recorded this name as Gopo Nam SumSgo po rnam gsum (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet), but this is a less desirable rendering than I provide here.
[264] This site also appears to be called PukmoPhug mo (Grotto).
[265] In Bellezza, “A Preliminary Archaeological Survey of Da rog mtsho,” 56-90, I refer to this headland as dogi pukdo gi phug, information I received from a local resident pointing to the site from afar. In actuality, DokyilbukDo dkyil sbug (sic) is the name of the third and smallest island in DaroktsoDa rog mtsho.
[266] SetrapBse khrab is the name of an important Nyingmarnying ma protector deity.
[267] A Nyingmarnying ma lama of the 19th century CE.
[268] A kind of man-eating demon.
[269] As pertains to the DangraDang ra and TagoRta rgo region, Kelzang SichöSkal bzang sri chod writes: “At the place known as Khyak Dorang’Khyags rdo rang there are the ruins of an ancient castle. In the oral tradition, it is said that this was the palace of the Zhang ZhungZhang zhung king TridemKhri sdems (=DemLdems), holder of the bird horns.” (Kelsang SichöSkal bsang sri chod. “Khakgi Logyü RaktsamKhag gi lo rgyus rags tsam” in bod ljongs nag chu sa khul gyi lo rgyus rig gnas 4 (1992): 111-146: 113.). This dorangrdo rang (colloquial spelling) appears to be the one and same place as Doringrdo ring.
[270] BongchenBong chen (Large Boulder) is the correct name for what I formerly designated Pongchen’Phong chen (Great Archery) (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet).
[271] In Bellezza, Antiquities of Upper Tibet, 78, I record the name of this site as mchod rten gong bzang can, the appellation that local inhabitants (gang riwagangs ri ba) now use. Nevertheless, Dzamling Ganggyel Tisé Karchak’Dzam gling gangs rgyal ti se’i dkar chag, by Karru Drupwang Tendzin RinchenDkar ru grub dbang bstan ’dzin rin chen (born 1801 CE), records the name of this BönBon site as Chöten Khongseng ChenMchod rten khong seng can.
[272] A generic term for Indian and other western invaders of NgariMnga’ ris.
[273] According to popular legend, an aboriginal tribe of NgariMnga’ ris.
[274] This site is comprised of what I formerly presented as Sené Gau DruppukSad ne ga’u sgrub phug (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet).
[275] According to Mimi Church and Mariette Wiebenga (in personal communication), this site is actually Shawa Dong LhakhangSha ba gdong lha khang. They visited here on a pilgrimage and study tour in 2005. In 1998, I identified another site at DaroktsoDa rog mtsho as Shawa Dong LhakhangSha ba gdong lha khang (B-103). Further inquiry is needed to verify these identifications.
[276] Named for the imperial period (?) BönBon practitioner Mushö TramDmu shod kram.
[277] In many of the dialects of NakchuNag chu and NaktsangNag tshang, ringring (“long”) is pronounced rang. I have sometimes used this phonetic rendering in my publications, but in this work I have opted for the standard orthography.
[278] I have presented the name of this site as Mönra YargenMon ra yar gan (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet), a less desirable spelling. YarkéYar rked and markémar rked are common drokpa’brog pa geographical terms referring to above and below the “waist” (base), respectively, of hills and mountains.
[279] This is the local name for what was formerly called Oma Doring’O ma rdo ring (named for the old camp or township) (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet). In the local Stod dialect, the jampo’jam po (“smooth”) part of the site’s name denotes terrain that is free of rocks and other obstructions.
[280] Named after A Tak PelmoA stag dpal mo/A Tak LumoA stag klu mo, a prominent goddess in the GesarGe sar epic.
[281] The wife of the Tibetan epic hero, Ling GesarGling ge sar.
[282] A type of fierce martial spirit.
[283] A type of powerful elemental spirit.
[284] A type of elemental spirit.
[285] In Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, I employ the standard word for “bride” (namamna’ ma), but the site is actually known by an epithet for bride in the local tökéstod skad dialect (pamodpa’ mo).
[286] In Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, I mistakenly call this site “YukhambuYu kham bu.” This was the result of a faulty transcription of orally derived information.
[287] In Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, I furnish a less desirable rendering of this site name.
[288] I had originally classified SipraSrib ra as habitational in pursuance to local folklore (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet). Subsequent analysis based on data from archaic cultural horizon archaeological sites throughout Upper Tibet, however, suggests that this site should be reclassified as funerary in nature. The morphological characteristics of the site warrant such a reordering of its typology.
[289] SernyaGser nya (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet) is probably funerary in nature, rather than representative of residential ruins, despite the folklore to the contrary.
[290] AmchokA mchog (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet) has also been reclassified as a funerary site. It is comprised of terraced superstructures, the most common type of ancient cemetery in the eastern JangtangByang thang.
[291] There appear to be various funerary structures at this site, although structures with other types of functions may also be represented. KyelungSkye lung and LungsumLung gsum was first surveyed in Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet, and then revisited in 2004.
[292] This site, with its six small superficial structures (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet), is also best reclassified as funerary in function.
[293] While the 121 cairns at this site may have been built to conceal or reconfigure an array of pillars (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet), the various superficial structures (Mönramon ra) should be classified as having a funerary and not domiciliary function.
[294] LukdoLug do (Bellezza. Divine Dyads) may actually be predominantly ceremonial and/or burial in nature rather than residential, thus its reclassification.
[295] This site is located in an area known as NyizhukNyi gzhung, which is closely associated with the old Bönpobon po enclave of NgamöSnga mos (classical spelling) and NgamongRnga mong (vernacular spelling). The last Bönpobon po of NyizhukNyi gzhung were converted to Buddhism (Karma Kagyükarma bka’ brgyud) in the 1980s.
[296] The morphological characteristics of Domri NakhaDom ri gna’ kha are generally in keeping with funerary monuments. I originally classified this site in a miscellaneous category (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet).
[297] A subsequent survey of Milhé KhordoMi lhas ’khor mdo has determined that it is funerary in nature. I originally classified this site in a miscellaneous category (Bellezza, Antiquities of Northern Tibet).
[298] In Bellezza. Antiquities of Upper Tibet, I refer to this site as thar lcang, a less desirable rendering.
[299] A Vajrayāna tutelary god.
[300] Named after an evil uncle in the GesarGe sar epic.
[301] Cave in local folklore associated with the Vajrayāna master Loppön Pema JungnéSlob dpon pad ma ’byung gnas.
[302] Elemental spirits of the dichotomous universe.
/bellezza2/notes/

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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