Archaeological Investigations 
   in the Kingdom of Bhutan 
      by the Swiss-Liechtenstein Foundation for Archaeological Research Abroad

Results of expertise campaign 1999

    The full preliminary report for the work achieved in 1999 is accessible as an extension of this site. Its contains is equivalent to the report published in 1999 under the following reference:

Blumer (R.), Vial (F.). 1999. Batpalathang, New Archaeological Site near Jakar, Bumthang District, Bhutan: Preliminary Report for the Investigations of April 1999. Annual Report of the Swiss-Liechtenstein Foundation for Archaeological Research Abroad (SLFA, Zurich, Switzerland), 1998, pp. 205-253.

Read the full preliminary report for the 1999 campaign!


The following paragraphs give an overview of the work achieved.

B1 and B2 
    The wall remains B2 were cleared partially. From the initial discovered stretch, we excavated toward Southeast until the remains were totally disappearing due to former historical dismantling. Toward the Northwest, we cleared the remains up to a corner at right angle, from where the wall is stretching in Northeastern direction. 
    The periphery of the underground structure B1 was apprehended through the excavation of a sector representing about one quarter of its ground surface, i. e. 4 by 4 meters (western quadrant). The excavation permitted to document the architecture of the dome-shaped roof of stone slabs from the outside. Moreover, the stratigraphic profiles and the position of the stone remains within the natural and anthropogenic sedimentary deposits were observed. 
    The only excavation undertaken within the filling of underground structure B1, consisting mostly of stones within a clayey matrix, was to provide sufficient samples for accurate dating. Other work done in the underground was recording the surface formed by the cylindrical bottom wall overlaid by the slab dome-roof in three dimensions, including the featured entrance porch. 
    Underground structure B1 is stratigraphically linked to the wall remains B2. Both share a common occupation layer. B1 and B2 can thus be considered contemporary and both form an archeological complex. 
    After returning from Bhutan, two charcoal samples collected within the filling of underground structure B1 were sent for radiocarbon dating (Beta Analytic Inc., Miami, Florida, U.S.). One sample received standard processing, whereas the second was dated by AMS method. The calibrated average result passed the Chi-square test and indicates the end of the 8th to the begin of 9th century A.D. as the chronological setting for the final filling of the underground structure. 
    The archeological material recovered in the complex B1-B2: 

    • pegged rotating millstone, upper half fragment, gray crystalline rock (see Background page);
    • flat millstone, gray metamorphic rock, used secondary as construction material for the underground dome-roof;
    • shingle, wood (see Background page) and other wood fragments;
    • rim potsherd, red-orange earthenware, sand tempered;
    • whetstone, dark gray metamorphic rock;
    • oxidized iron fragment;
    • string fragment, vegetal.
    Eight charcoal and cinder samples were collected for analyses. From them, two have been dated by the radiocarbon method, and calibrated using the latest version of OxCal.

Read the full preliminary report for the 1999 campaign!

     Follow to the 1999 results for stone platform B3.

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Part of wall remains B2 excavated in 1999. 

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Western quadrant sector of underground structure B1, excavated in 1999. 

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Top of entrance porch, as seen from above the filling of underground structure B1. 

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    During the 1999 campaign, following excavation work has been carried out on structure B3: 
  • The square surface of a platform made of stone masonry was uncovered and documented.
  • The sides of the northern half of the platform and adjoining areas were excavated.
  • A test pit was dug against the southern platform wall to ascertain the height of the platform.
  • 9 square meters of the central part of the platform surface were drawn scale 1:10 to document a shallow central depression indicating a collapsed inner volume or chamber.
  • Archaeological material was recorded in a three dimensional system and collected.
  • Samples for radiocarbon dating were secured.

Read the full preliminary report for the 1999 campaign!


Results 1999 for stone platform B3

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