Buck,
 
 You won't get much real knowledge by consulting the opinions found in a 
freshman theme paper - maybe even a high-school freshman paper at that. (If you 
get my meaning.) 
 
 The sources of the Dome derive from the vedi, the Vedic fire altar. This 
formal influence extends down to the Buddhist Stupa and the derivative temple  
architectures of India-Tibet-China-Japan. This also includes the two and 
three-dimensional mandala-s found throughout Sino-Tibetan Buddhism. 
  
 There is no better source on the planet (or in English) than the text 
Symbolism of the Stupa, written by Adrian Snodgrass, an Australian architect 
and now a professor. 
  
 You can preview it here: 
  
 
http://books.google.com/books?id=nzqK8dDCM0UC&pg=PA189&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
 
http://books.google.com/books?id=nzqK8dDCM0UC&pg=PA189&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
  
 You may want to pay particular attention to:
  
 Chapter 6: The Deployment of Space and the Sacrifice
 Chapter 7: The Deployment of Space and the Solar Breath
 Chapter 15: The Symbolism of the Dome 
  
  Read it and weep that you didn’t find this before.

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