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Territorial Characteristics of the Archaic Zhang-zhung Paleocultural Entity: A Comparative Analysis of Archaeological Evidence and Popular Bon Literary Sources
International Association of Tibetan Studies Conference X
Format: Conference Paper
Publication Year: 2003
Place of Publication: Oxford
Sources ID: 123817
Visibility: Public (group default)
Abstract: (Show)

In this paper, the author delineates the territorial extent of the pre-Buddhist paleocultural zone traditionally known as Zhang-zhung, by examining the geographic distribution of its monumental remains. Using a comprehensive inventory of pre-Buddhist archaeological sites conducted in Upper Tibet (traditionally known as Stod and Byang-thang) between 1992-2002, this paper will provisionally establish the cultural frontiers of Zhang-zhung. The assemblage of monument typologies in Upper Tibet with their highly distinctive morphologies and design traits serve as an index for gauging the areal configuration of pre-Buddhist culture. In particular, the unique pillar typologies of Upper Tibet distinguish Zhang-zhung from the archaeological heritage of adjoining regions.

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