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Finding Buddha: Hi-tech approach to the study of Buddhist transition at the Angkorian center of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay, Cambodia (10th to 16th c. CE)

Author(s): Christian Fischer ; Mitch Hendrickson

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Two Buddhist Towers Project seeks to identify material culture evidence of the important shift from Mahayana to Theravada Buddhism during the decline of the Angkorian Khmer Empire. At the regional center of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay, also known as Bakan, the most representative iconography, found for example at the Tower of Preah Thkol and the temple of Prasat Stoeng, shows the religious foundations of Mahayana Buddhism, which was probably practiced at the site since its inception. On the other hand, Theravadin evidence is scarce and best exemplified by the tower of the four-faced standing Buddha of Preah Chatumukh and the numerous recarved lintels depicting five meditating Buddhas. The difficulties encountered in finding and studying remains of this religious change using traditional methods has prompted the adoption of new technologies for this inquiry, including lidar, drone photography, 3-D photogrammetry and field spectroscopy. In this paper, we present initial results and discuss challenges and issues related to the application of these techniques at Preah Khan of Kompong Svay.


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Finding Buddha: Hi-tech approach to the study of Buddhist transition at the Angkorian center of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay, Cambodia (10th to 16th c. CE). Christian Fischer, Mitch Hendrickson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431203)


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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): 16567

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