Dating and Analysing Koh Ker Settlement and Activity

Author(s): Darith Ea; Kyle Latinis

Year: 2017


The popular narrative places Koh Ker as a short-lived, unconventionally planned, 10th century Angkorian city carved out of remote jungle following a capital shift under the reign of Jayavarman IV. The capital subsequently returned to Angkor and Koh Ker was swallowed by time and forest. A growing number of researchers find this untenable, seeing Koh Ker as a more sizeable, complex and enduring urban phenomenon based on recent investigations. 2015 excavations in the central urban core yielded basal activity dates in two sites consistently between the 7th and 8th centuries CE. Additionally, aspects of the pottery assemblage strongly resemble those from 7th-8th century sites at Sambor Prei Kuk. Mid to upper level and surface pottery include temporally definitive Khmer and Chinese wares, indicating site use from the 9th-14th centuries and later. The tested sites are surrounded by massive 10th century features. It remains unknown if middle and upper deposits represent continual use, periodic use, site repurposing during the 10th century and later, etc. Some aspects indicate the former while others indicate the latter. What is clear is that the area was very active for a long period.

Cite this Record

Dating and Analysing Koh Ker Settlement and Activity. Darith Ea, Kyle Latinis. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431124)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15057