Untangling the Urban Morphology of medieval Angkor, Cambodia

Author(s): Sarah Klassen; Jonathan Weed; Damian Evans

Year: 2017


One of the largest puzzles for archaeologists at Angkor is untangling the extremely complex chronological development of the site. The region was host to hundreds of years of urban occupation arising out of a long tradition of habitation through the Bronze and Iron Age. Decades of archaeological investigations have established relational frameworks through which it is now possible to do more precise dating. Recent LiDAR investigations and the associated mapping and ground truthing have documented over 1,400 temples and 8000 reservoirs. In this paper, we group temples with associated reservoirs based on alignments, proximity, and known historical relationships. We then combine several disparate datasets into a relational database and use a mathematical model to understand chronological and spatial relationships. The resulting maps reveal the urban development of Angkor and highlight spatial patterns of anthropological interest. We argue that having a more sophisticated understanding of the development of Angkor can assist in asking more robust questions of the archaeological site.

Cite this Record

Untangling the Urban Morphology of medieval Angkor, Cambodia. Sarah Klassen, Jonathan Weed, Damian Evans. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431131)


Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14362