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Burning Questions: An Anthracological Approach to Culture, Ecology, and Imperial Expansion at Angkor, Cambodia

Author(s): Kristyn Hara

Year: 2017

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Summary

Compared to archaeological research in other parts of the globe, the analysis of wood charcoal assemblages, or anthracology, remains an underutilized methodology for investigating aspects of the human past in Cambodia. This paper argues for the importance of anthracology as a viable scientific methodology by foregrounding its interpretive potential in addressing a diverse suite of micro- and macro-scale questions pertaining to human-environment dynamics and cultural practices over the longue durée. Applying examples from my own paleoethnobotanical research at two royal monasteries that were founded in the 9th century A.D. as part of a massive building campaign at the ancient imperial capital of Angkor, I demonstrate the capacity of anthracological analysis to inform and expand our understanding of issues ranging from cultural preferences to forest histories to urbanization. In this paper, I demonstrate how anthracological methods and social theory intersect in productive ways that not only elucidate the past but also have implications for understanding lifeways and forest politics in contemporary Cambodia.


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Burning Questions: An Anthracological Approach to Culture, Ecology, and Imperial Expansion at Angkor, Cambodia. Kristyn Hara. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430427)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15248

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America