The Rarest Goods on Barkhor Street
Barkhor is a busy street around Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. You can find all kinds of local product on this street, but the rarest goods on Barkhor Street are probably Tibetan fossils which are dug from the foot of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest. This kind of fossil becomes fewer and fewer.
As we know, the Himalayan region was a single super continent (Pangea) surrounded by a vast ocean about 250 million years ago. About 200 million years ago, the super continent (Pangea) started to split into different land masses and moved apart. An extensive sea (Tethys) stretched along the latitudinal area presently occupied by the Himalayas. The two land masses, the Eurasian (Angara) and the Indian sub-continent (Gondwana) moved closer and closer, then the collision happened and uplifted the highest & youngest mountain ranges on the Earth.
In 1996, a Chinese scientific expedition found an ichthyosaur fossil of over 10 meters by accident at Mt. Everest region. The ichthyosaur had a body like dolphin, a long mouth, sharp teeth, large tail fin, and four legs like paddles. Therefore, it is not strange that we can find fossils of shell, conch and some sort sold at Barkhor Street.
Due to its rareness, the price is very high. A small fossil of shell can sold at a price of 150 RMB during low season. But for ordinary tourists, it is difficult to judge whether the fossils are dug from Mt. Everest.