A set of 50 photographs and associated handwritten descriptive notes, acquired from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in St. Petersburg. The complete notes, "1904 View of Great Tibet", are available at: http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/u?/tibet,94
Slab of stone whereupon the corpses of the dead are cut to pieces at P'abon-k'a-ritod [Pabon-ka-ritod]. [Z.]
The hermitage is about two English miles to the northwest of Sera.
Obs. The name is spelt [sic] Phabongka in Sarat Chandra Das Journey [Journey to Tibet] p. 254
"In the neighborhood of Lhasa there are two sacred cemeteries, Phabongka and Serashar. In every cemetery there is a large slab of stone, on which the corpse, stripped of its coverings, is placed face downwards. The officiating lama then crosses it with lines, and while repeating mantras, cuts it in pieces. The first pieces are flung towards the biggest and oldest vulture of the flock, called tankar, and the remaining to the rest. They are so tame that they come one by one at the call of the priest. Last of all the head of the corpse is crushed, and the bones pounded together are mixed with the brain and distributed among the vultures. Then a new and unused earthen bowl, filled with fire of argol (dried cowdung), with some butter and barley flour burnt in it as incense, is presented to the departed by being placed in the quarter towards which he is supposed to have gone. The funeral attendants now wash their hands, and retiring to a short distance from the cemetery, breakfast, and at about midday return home. During forty-nine days after the drawing of the last breath, food and drink are offered to the deceased in his favorite dish and incense is burned." (p.254).
Das, S. C. (1902). Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet. London: John Murray.
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"The high priests, indeed, are buried or burned after death, but the bodies of the lower priests and those of the populace are abandoned to the birds of prey, after having been cut to pieces on a flat stone which lies halfway between Lhasa and the convent of Sera, near the chapel of Pa-ban-ka." (p. 550)
Deniker, J. (1903). New light on Lhasa, the forbidden City. The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine LXVI or 66, 544-554. Available through Google Books at: http://books.google.com/books?id=V_YLAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA544&lpg=PA544&dq