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Antiquities of Upper Tibet: An Inventory of Pre-Buddhist Archaeological Sites on the High Plateau
Format: Book (single author)
Publication Date: 200201/2002
Publisher: Adroit
Place of Publication: Delhi
Sources ID: 122633
Visibility: Public (group default)
Abstract: (Show)

This book examines a host of ancient monuments and rock art sites discovered by John Vincent Bellezza during his Upper Tibet Circumnavigation Expedition conducted in 2000. Adding significantly to his earlier work in the field, the author introduces for the first time 100 archaeological sites perched on the highest parts of the Tibetan plateau, including those found in the vicinity of holy Mount Kailash. The physical traces unearthed by the author are of the utmost importance to our understanding of the pre-Buddhist civilization of Tibet. As this work demonstrates, until the adoption of Indian Buddhism beginning in the 7th century CE, Tibet was home to an indigenous culture that was responsible for the creation of an impressive network of citadels, settlements, temples and necropolises. The documentation of these ancient monuments provided in this monograph helps to define a field with vast potential. Antiquities of Upper Tibet first introduces the reader to the culture and environment of Upper Tibet prior to the 7th century CE. Special attention is paid to archaeological parallels with other early civilizations of Inner Asia, placing its Tibetan variant in a clearer temporal and material perspective. By outlining the interconnections that existed in early times between Tibet and her northern and western neighbors this monograph plots a course pertinent to our understanding of the development of civilization in Eurasia. The main part of this work consists of an inventory of archaeological sites, which is organized according to a scheme of functional and morphological typologies. Each typological group is prefaced with a description of its physical characteristics, relevant Tibetan textual sources and cross-cultural comparisons. Authoritatively expounded, this evidence begins to illuminate the late prehistory of Upper Tibet, opening a new chapter in archaeology of the region. As such, this scholarly contribution can only stimulate the interest of all those who wonder about the origins of the Tibetan people and their culture.

Print media (print or manuscript, including PDFs)
xviii, 304pp.