top of page

Bumthang exhibits the finds from Bhutan’s first ever scientific archaeological excavation project

Bhutan is renowned for its vibrant and rich cultural heritage, unique customs, breathtaking traditional architecture, and pristine natural landscapes. The recent unveiling of the findings from the inaugural scientific archaeological excavation at the ruins of Drapham Dzong in Bumthang adds to the country's cultural and historical treasures. The excavation, conducted as part of Phase I of the Bhutan Swiss Archaeology project, represents the first scientific archaeological excavation project ever undertaken in Bhutan. It involved three excavation operations, a comprehensive site survey, and the training of local personnel.

The exhibition aimed to preserve and showcase Bhutan's distinctive cultural heritage and history for both present and future generations. It allowed Bhutanese people to connect with their roots, instilling a sense of pride and identity. Additionally, the exhibition sought to raise public awareness about the importance of safeguarding and preserving archaeological discoveries for future generations, while engaging the local government and community. The excavation provided tangible evidence to substantiate the oral accounts passed down through generations and offered an opportunity to study the Dzongs that predated Zhabdrung, the unifier of Bhutan.

The excavation at the Drapham Dzong ruins yielded a multitude of artifacts, including arrowheads, ceramics, and pottery fragments. These findings offer invaluable insights into Bhutan's past and contribute to a clearer understanding of the ancient civilizations that thrived in the region.

To visit the site, one must drive for approximately an hour from Bumthang Chamkhar town to Choekor Toe, followed by a 10-minute walk to reach the exhibition center. From there, a further 10-minute stroll will lead visitors to the captivating remains of Drapham Dzong. The site is open to all and welcomes anyone in Bumthang to allocate a few hours to explore this fascinating archaeological site and delve deeper into the rich history of Bhutan. During the exhibition on June 13th, the Department of Culture & Dzongkha Development also premiered a video documentary to raise awareness about the conservation projects implemented under their purview.

The Bhutan Swiss Archaeology Project is a collaborative effort between the Royal Government of Bhutan, HELVETAS Swiss Interco-operation (HSI), and the Swiss Liechtenstein Foundation of Archaeological Research Abroad (SLSA). Established in 2007 at the request of the Royal Government of Bhutan to HSI, the project supports archaeological research and initiatives in Bhutan.

"The exhibition will serve as a foundation for future archaeological endeavors, preserving and celebrating Bhutan's extraordinary cultural heritage," stated Dorji Dhradhul, the Director General of the Department of Tourism. He emphasized that the exhibition provides a unique opportunity for the Bhutanese people to reconnect with their roots and comprehend their history. The Department of Tourism will collaborate closely with the Bumthang Dzongkhag administration to develop the Drapham Dzong archaeological site into a tourism destination.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page