Ancient Tombs Shows A Diversity of Ancient Culture
Four tombs unearthed in the southwest Autonomous Region in Tibet are believed to have relics from an ancient Tibetan Kingdom more than 2,000 years ago. The tombs found in Gar County of Ngari Prefecture, have wooden caskets with human remains, swords, copper ware and cattle skeletons that was buried as sacrificial items.
According to Dr. Tong Tao part of the team that excavated the tomb site, believed that the tombs is part of the ancient Shangshung Kingdom, a powerful tribe that was taken over by the Songtsen Gampo to be part of Tibet in the seventh century. The tombs located near the Bon monastery which was the religion practiced in Tibet before Buddhism was introduced from India. Its followers practiced worshiping natural spirits such as lakes and mountains. It was also believed that Shangshung kingdom is the cradle of the Bon religion and is a cultural and political center.
Sacrificial items found inside the tombs was taught to be introduced from a plateau from India, a place known today as Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and parts of China’s interior regions. The items they unearthed was believed to came from central and northern Chinese regions, while masks made out of gold is similar to masks unearthed in several tombs in India.
Archaeologists believed that these items indicated that the Shangshung Kingdom was the first to conduct such diverse cultural and personal exchanges with regions found in its area and can be considered are one of the earliest centers of civilization in Tibet.
Tong and his colleagues believe the items indicate that the ancient Shangshung Kingdom conducted diverse cultural and personnel exchanges and could be one of the earliest centers of civilization on the Tibet plateau.