could show in the part devoted to the structural description, the
excavated and documented remains of B3 present far more complex features
than initially expected.
the numerous intervention stages accomplished between April1999 and the
end of July 2000, the interpretation of the site evolved gradually. The
“flat stone pavement” visible initially was rapidly supposed to
represent a house foundation (examples on Fig. 52 and
Fig. 53) or to be the base
platform of a chörten (the
Tibetan stupa) (example on Fig. 54). In fact, we
observed many other examples of platforms supporting different kinds of
monuments (an example on Fig. 55), so that the idea
of a platform foundation is easy to infer.
our preliminary report, while the chamber was still intact, we stated
that B3 was for sure a “monument” by itself, but probably not a
simple and early form of chörten,
since there are clear indications that the platform was buried under a
massive sediment deposit. The burial grave hypothesis was also rejected
with certainty, although one could find some similarities between the
platform and burial monuments of the Mongolian and South Siberian
steppes. The frequent presence of Mongolian troops assisting the Tibetan
invaders in the first half of the 17th century could even
ascertain this possible link. And the absence of any comparable
structure in Bhutan makes the peculiar shape of the monument even more
rich investigation results we obtained in 2000 add supplementary
dimensions to the interpretation problem. Today, we are sure that the
central platform was not visible at the end of the construction process
although it represents the monument core. It was rather hidden within and
under a much larger (16 x 12 meter) superstructure made of stones and
artificially accumulated soil deposits. The large areas featuring collapse
signs, situated on three sides of the peripheral wall, indicate that the
monument underwent a violent and destructive event – most probably an
important earthquake. This event destabilized the highest parts of the
peripheral wall which collapsed outwards to a major extent. The perfect
preservation of the central platform itself is largely explained by the
fact that it was sealed within the stable sediment mass.
that the major construction stages are explained, we are able to visualize
what the monument could have looked like when all its elements were still
standing. The discovery of seven postholes – probably representing as
many prayer flags – enhanced the general picture of monument B3 and
added as well a human and religious depths which can be linked directly
with today’s deep anchored Buddhist traditions and beliefs.
we are sure that monument B3 was erected following definite architectural
traditions and religious beliefs, and that it was intended to keep a
peculiar event in memory, we have no definite indication about this event.
The literary and architectural records of Bhutan have not yet been able to
help us in this interpretative process. To try to go a step further, the
only way is to gather information about stone monuments built elsewhere in
the Himalayan region.