The Civilization of Angkor
In the late sixteenth century a mythical encounter was reported during an elephant hunt in the dense north of the Tonle Sap, or Great Lake of central Cambodia. King Satha of Cambodia and his retainers were beating a path through the undergrowth when they were halted by stone giants and a massive wall. The King, the fable reported, ordered six thousand men to clear away the forest overgrowth around the wall, thereby exposing the city of Angkor--"lost" for over a century.
Subsequent reports from Portuguese missionaries described its five gateways, with bridges flanked by stone figures leading across a moat. There were idols covered in gold, inscriptions, fountains, canals, and a "temple with five towers, called Angor." For four centuries, this huge complex has inspired awe among visitors from all over the world, but only now are its origins and history becoming clear.
This book begins with the development of the prehistoric communities of the area and draws on the author's recent excavations to portray the rich and expansive chiefdoms that existed at the dawn of civilization. It covers the origins of early states, up to the establishment, zenith, and decline of this extraordinary civilization, whose most impressive achievement was the construction of the gilded temple mausoleum of Angkor Wat in the twelfth century, allegedly by 70,000 people.
Drawing on the latest research on prehistoric archaeology, epigraphy, and art history, Charles Higham has written a clear and concise history of this remarkable civilization.
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agricultural ancestors Angkor Borei Angkor Thom Angkor Wat Angkorian Bakheng Banteay Baphuon baray basins Bayon brick bronze Buddha Cambodia capital centre century Chams Chinese civilization of Angkor construction court described donated dynasty elephants elite endowed excavations foundation Funan gods gold gopura Hariharalaya Harshavarman Indravarman inscriptions Iron Age irrigation Ishanapura Ishanavarman Jayatataka Jayavarman II Jayavarman VII Jayaviravarman Khmer kilometres king's kingdom labour land laterite linga Lingapura linked Mekong River metres moat monument mratan Noen U-Loke officials palace parasols Phimeanakas Phnom Prah Prasat Pre Rup Preah Khan Preah Ko Preah Vihear probably Rajendravarman records reign of Jayavarman religious reservoir reveal rice fields ritual royal rulers sacred sanctuary Sanskrit settlements Shiva shrines silver South-East Asia status stela stone Suryavarman Suryavarman II temple tion Tonle Sap towers trade Valley vessels villages Vishnu vrah walls Western Baray workers Yashodharapura Yashodharatataka Yashovarman Zhou Daguan