In this episode we explore the civilization of Angkor. Read below for more information on topics discussed in the podcast.
–Henri Mouhot is frequently credited as being the “discoverer” of the Angkorian civilization, when in fact he was one of many foreigners who had visited the site of Angkor Wat and other temples in the area. However, Henri Mouhot’s travel diaries, where he described and drew the Angkorian temples, captured the imagination of Europeans when it was published, helping to popularize Angkor. Below is one of Henri Mouhot’s drawings of Angkor Wat.
-For further reading about the École française d’Extrême-Orient, we can highly recommend two publications:
A Century in Asia: The History of the École française d’Extrême-Orient, 1898 – 2006 by Pierre-Yves Manguin and Catherine Clémentin-Ojha
Archaeologists at Angkor: Photographic Archives from the Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient Published by the Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient
The latter was the catalogue of a photographic exhibit that showed amazing photos from the EFEO archives. Excerpts from this exhibit can be seen online here. Below is an image of the restoration of the Banteay Srei temple from the EFEO archives.
-We mentioned in the show that many Cambodians were involved with the EFEO, although their names have been lost to history. This article from the Phnom Penh Post
details these “Invisible Cambodians” as presented at a recent conference by Piphal Heng.
-The background sounds during the Zhou Daguan passage came from a visualization of Angkor curated by Tom Chandler of Monash University and Martin Polkinghorne. We highly recommend getting lost in the many animated computer reconstructions of Angkor
. This visualizations have drawn on recent archaeological research and historic documents, like that from Zhou Daguan.
-B.P. Groslier advocated the idea that Angkor was a hydraulic city. You can read his article on this topic here
. Below is one of his maps of Angkor, with his hypothesis on how the baray’s were integrated into the Angkorian landscape.
A map of Angkor by B.P. Groslier
-Drawing on the work of B.P. Groslier, more recent work has expanded the map of Angkor into an area of 1000 square kilometers. The map below draws primarily on work by Damian Evans and Christophe Pottier. You can read more about this map here
A new archaeological map of Greater Angkor.
-In the podcast we discuss recent LIDAR data of Angkor undertaken by the Khmer Archaeology Lidar Consortium
, with Dr. Damian Evans
. You can read about the recent LIDAR survey of Angkor here
. Below is an aerial image of Angkor Wat showing the thick tree cover on top. Beneath that is the LIDAR image showing the organized grid pattern around the temple.
An oblique view of Angkor Wat and its immediate environs. Upper layer: Digital orthophoto mosaic, with elevation derived from the lidar digital surface model at 1-m resolution. Lower layer: extruded lidar digital terrain model, with 0.5-m resolution and 2× vertical exaggeration. Red lines indicate modern linear features including roads and canals.
-Another resource on Angkor that we draw on for this episode is Angkor: Heart of An Asian Empire
by Bruno Dagens. This includes many wonderful images and primary sources from early visitors to Angkor.
Music in this episode