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Title: Dangkhar : the rgyal sa of Spiti
Author: Laurent, Yannick
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 3211
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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The river valley of Spiti is located at the western end of the Tibetan plateau in what is today the Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh. From its incorporation into the Tibetan Empire in the 7th century until its annexation by British India in 1846, the Spiti Valley occupied a peripheral yet significant geographical position within the Western Himalayas by allowing contacts and cultural exchange between Tibet, Ladakh, and the Indian sub-continent. During this time, the Dangkhar settlement emerged as the political centre of this border valley. Based on a non-invasive archaeological investigation of its vestiges, together with an analysis of epigraphic and historical sources, this thesis describes and examines the constitutive elements of this site from its territory to its religious and political institutions. Over time, the Dangkhar settlement came to be referred to as the rgyal sa of Spiti, meaning ‘royal seat’ or ‘capital’, a Tibetan term that captures the long and singular history of this endangered heritage site. Sitting astride some of the most important trade and communication routes of the Western Himalayas, the Spiti Valley played a major role in both the diffusion of ideas and the transfer of goods within the Indo-Tibetan border regions. In tracing both local and trans-regional patterns of continuity and change, this research contributes to refining a periodisation scheme which illuminates the various political, religious, and economic interactions which have shaped the history of the Western Himalayas. As a result, this thesis presents the most detailed historical overview of Spiti to date.
Supervisor: Roesler, Ulrike Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available