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6. Ritual Monument Batpalathang B3

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Structural Description (part 2)

Platform Flanks

At excavation end, most of the four platform flanks were visible (Fig. 12); the only exception lies in the area of square F/6 where a witness profile was left. We documented al four flanks with 1:10 scale drawings and photographs. The southern platform wall was not drawn integrally due to lacking time, but its general features are in all point similar to the drawn part. Our illustrations (Fig. 13) clearly show that the platform is built on a 7-9 degrees sloping ground, as we already supposed in 1999. The slope direction seems to be responsible for the general orientation of the platform central axis (South-North platform axis is approximately 15 degrees from northern direction).

Fig. 12

Fig. 13

The dimensions of the four platform flanks are summarized in the following table (Tab. 3):

Platform flank

Top length

Base length

Minimal height

Central height

Maximal height


372 cm

388 cm

26 cm

27 cm

40 cm


405 cm

412 cm

34 cm

73 cm

93 cm


514 cm

534 cm

90 cm

100 cm

110 cm


423 cm

425 cm

48 cm

78 cm

99 cm

Tab. 3: Dimensions of platform flanks.

The architectural technique used to build the platform is partly indicated by the flank features. The stone modules used by the builders shows three stone categories: (1) middle and large sized angular boulders 15-50 cm, (2) middle sized rounded boulders 15-35 cm, (3) middle and large sized flat slabs 20-60 cm, and finally small and middle sized angular stones. Little to no gravel was used to fill interstitial gaps between larger stones. 107 stones are apparent in the eastern flank, which has an approximated surface[1] of 3.1 m2; this gives a stone density of 38.5 stones/m2 for this flank. In the western flank, we see 96 stones on the surface of 2.6 m2, which results in a slight lower stone density of 36.9 stones/m2.

In the eastern and western platform walls ( Fig. 13 ), we see that there seems not to be any particular organization of the different stone modules, neither along the horizontal nor on the vertical axes. Nevertheless, we remarked that the smaller elements are often placed under large and flat elements to bring the latter near a horizontal position. We also notice the neat columnar (nine layers) arrangement in the southwestern corner stones, showing that the builders wanted to get a more perfect alignment of the larger southern wall than of both sidewalls, even if the piling could be a destabilization factor. The slight inward sloping angle of the southern wall edge was also noticed, although it is less marked than for the eastern and western sidewalls. On our illustrations, the spots where no stone was apparent are marked by the sediment texture. During the final cleaning of the sidewalls, we limited the removal of interstitial sediment in order to limit the risk of local stone collapse. Test at some spots showed that other stones are just covered by this sediment, but lay not far under the sediment. These interstitial deposits do not indicate a peculiar architectural technique; we conclusively noticed that the construction technique is dry stone and that the sediment present between the flank stones was pushed in between during the building of the peripheral wall and contemporary earth accumulation.

We noticed that some stones were lying outside of the platform area and could once have been part of the platform structure itself. Those elements are mostly located between the southern platform edge and the southern peripheral wall remains, but higher than the latter (Fig. 14). Although it is not perfectly clear whether someone disturbed those stone intentionally in course of history, or if their positions are the result of a natural destruction event, it seems that an anthropic event is more probable since the scatter occurred almost exclusively in north-south direction.

Fig. 14


[1] Calculated from a simplified trapeze shape.

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Copyright 2001, Reto Blumer, Switzerland
Copyright 2001, SLFA Zürich, Switzerland

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Last updated: 29-05-2001.