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6. Ritual Monument Batpalathang B3

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The remains of monument B3 uncovered at Batpalathang site represent a long forgotten past that tells us an incomplete story. It is the story of a community of people which were tightly bound: they were sharing established and long lasting religious beliefs, they showed very constructive social behaviors favoring the memory of ancestors and preserving their environment and culture for the future generations, and of course they mastered numerous and varied technical skills. Overall, the picture rendered by the builders of monument B3 is one showing a very strong cultural involvement at the local and regional levels.

Everyone who had the chance to live a while among the Bhutanese people of the Choskhor valley in recent past shall see that most, if not all, of those features are still living among them. Of course, numerous dynamic processes, encouraged by the actual modernization, are fashioning the society of Central Bhutan. But not unlike in the midst of the 16th century A.D., present day people of the Choskhor valley follow their daily subsistence activities, build large monuments for special occasions, follow their secular religious beliefs, and repeat traditional actions, and finally prepare their country for the near future with the assistance of a well balanced political leadership.

The story of monument B3, which we tried to unravel to the largest extent possible, can now enter into the intimate historical record of the community of the Choskhor valley. For us, archaeologists, the story we tried to tell should now help enhancing the sense of historical continuity among the local community in which the investigation took place. We hope that our contribution will be used for this sake.

Our responsibility was to preserve the most of this story for future generations. Ideally, it should be further developed through more scientific researches and studies, as well historical and archaeological. Threats for cultural heritage sites are usually appearing very fast, generally much faster than the time necessary to acquire the necessary means to resolve them through archaeological salvage actions. The Kingdom of Bhutan has momentarily the great chance: the pace of its modernization process has not yet reached the extreme velocity it already has in Western Europe and North America. Hopefully, Bhutan will soon set up its own archaeological survey to investigate appearing endangered sites… the sooner the better!


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

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Last updated: 29-05-2001.