Ancient Tibet : research materials from the Yeshe de by Yeshe De Project, Yeshe De Project Staff

By Yeshe De Project, Yeshe De Project Staff

Octavo. colour illustrated wraps. xi, 371 pp, illustrations. close to advantageous.

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Compressed between the Tarim mountain system in the north and the Indian subcontinent in the south, both the plateau and its mountain ranges increased in elevation. Tibet was probably rocked by frequent earthquakes and tremors during this period, which coincided with the most recent ice age. A million years ago the plateau may have been 9000 feet high (3000 meters), and the Himalayas may have reached 15,000 feet (4500 meters). By 10,000 years ago, the plateau may have reached over 15,000 feet in elevation (4700 meters), and the Himalayas may have been over 19,000 feet (6000 meters), about the height of the Kokoshili mountains across northern Byang-thang today.

The plate motions are also thought to have produced great folding in older mountain ranges farther north, such as the Kun-luns and the Bayankara mountains. THE BIRTH OF THE HIMALAYAS The joining of the far southern part of Tibet to Asia is better understood, and discussions of India's northward drift can be found in encyclopedias as well as in geology texts. The 1980 symposium presented new details on this collision, giving a variety of hypotheses to explain the uplifting of the plateau. By 100 million years ago, the plate carrying India had begun to drift north from its location alongside Africa as rifts formed in Gondwanaland.

GRASSLAND ANIMALS Forest declined all over the world some 15 to lO million years ago as the climate cooled. The evolution of grass from bamboo- Ancient Environment 45 type plants, which occurred about 24 million years ago, had prepared the way for new environments. This shift from forest to grassland was especially marked in Tibet because the plateau was risingi temperatures dropped, and the climate grew even drier. ~ris, lDang-la, the Kun-lun mountains, and Tsaidam. The east, however, remained subtropical with oak, maple, mountain ash, pine, and poplar forests, while the Himalayas were quite warm and wet, with oak and cedar forests growing across the slopes.

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