John Vincent Bellezza is an archaeologist and cultural historian specializing in the pre-Buddhist heritage of Tibet and the Western Himalaya. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Tibet Center, University of Virginia, and has lived in high Asia for three decades. Since 1994, Bellezza has comprehensively surveyed ancient monuments and rock art on the uppermost reaches of the Tibetan plateau. He has also extensively studied archaic rituals, myths and narratives in Bon and Old Tibetan literature. In addition to nine books, Bellezza has written numerous academic and popular articles on topics pertaining to early Tibet. He is the first non-Tibetan to have explored both the geographic and ritual sources of each of the four great rivers that emerge from the Mount Kailas region. He has visited most major islands and headlands in the great lakes of Upper Tibet.