Abstract: The Rise of the Khmer Empire: from Angkor Borei to Angkor Wat


Cambodia's remarkable cultural heritage is best embodied in the spectacular monuments of Angkor Wat that astonished the 19th century European public and persuaded 20th century preservationists to make it a world heritage site.  What makes the country even more fascinating is the fact that Angkor Wat represents an endpoint in the nation’s deep historical record, whose origins apparently lie south, in the Mekong delta.  Chinese annals, oral traditions, and now archaeological research suggests that Cambodia’s earliest kingdoms arose during the early first millennium A.D., during a time of international maritime trade that linked the region to China, India, and Rome.  This lecture blends archaeology, history and oral tradition to explore the rise of the Khmer empire, and begins with the origins of the earliest Cambodian civilization.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Coe, Michael D. 2003. Angkor and the Khmer Civilization. Thames and Hudson, London.

Freeman, Michael and Claude Jacques. 1999.  Ancient Angkor. Bangkok, River Books.

Website: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/07/angkor/stone-text

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