tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Regional connections identified through the analysis of glass beads from Samdzong, Upper Mustang, Nepal, CE 500

Author(s): Laure Dussubieux ; Mark Aldenderfer

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


Samdzong is found in the Kali Gandaki drainage in Upper Mustang, Nepal, just to the south of Tibet. Known from historical sources that date to the 17th C., Samdzong was an important waypoint on the salt trade route between South India and the Tibetan Plateau. Aside from salt from the plateau, these documents say little about other materials that were exchanged, and virtually nothing about their places of origin. The antiquity of the salt route was simply assumed. Excavations at the site conducted over the past three years have added both a wider regional scope and a greater time depth to our understanding of trade in this region. Glass beads have contributed much to this improved understanding of regional trade and its local expression at Samdzong. Analyzed by LA-ICP-MS, the beads tell a story of far-flung ties: trade from the west with ancient Sassania (now in modern Iran), the Sindh to the south (now in modern Pakistan), and participation in the Asia-Pacific bead trade that may include production loci in far southern India or southeast Asia. We will describe these results in greater detail and will compare them to the analyses of other artifacts that circulated in this region.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Regional connections identified through the analysis of glass beads from Samdzong, Upper Mustang, Nepal, CE 500. Mark Aldenderfer, Laure Dussubieux. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396443)


Geographic Keywords
South Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America