Sky burial platform in Dra Yerpa Monastery

Sky burial platform in Dra Yerpa Monastery

1998.286.163 (Glass negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Sir Charles Bell


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

September 11th 1921


Lhasa Area > Dra Yerpa

Accession number


Image Dimensions

78 x 103

Corpse dismemberment and disposal platform, tur-trö, at Dra Yerpa, where corpses are dismembered and given to the birds.

Further Information


Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Negative Quarter Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections


'The People of Tibet', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928 [view list of illustrations]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXXI. [Subject of Chapter] Weddings and Funerals [Subject of Illustration] Q150 (o) Corpse cutting platform at Tra Yer-pa. Tur-trö at Tra Yer-pa, where the corpses are cut up and given to the birds. See Diary, XII, 87."

Other Information - Description: Bell's Diary entry for 11th September 1921, whilst staying at Tra Yer-Pa Monastery: "I walked this evening to the top of a neighbouring mound, where three fires of the incense burning juniper are kep burning. Just below is the
tur-tro , where the corpses of the monks of Tra Yer-Pa are cut up. This is a flattened piece of ground, somewhat larger than a man's body, floored with slabs of slate. A small slab stands vertically in the ground as a headpiece; to it the dead monk's neck is secured, while pieces are chopped off the corpse and given to the birds (photo quarter plate)." [Vol. XII, p.87]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'The People of Tibet', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928, facing p.290:"A flattened piece of ground, somewhat larger than a man's body."

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Sky burial platform in Dra Yerpa Monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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