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Beyond the Bayon and Ta Phrom: Modeling Demography and Population Health at Angkor, Capital of Medieval Cambodia (802 – 1431 CE)

Author(s): Sophie Goldberg

Year: 2017

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Summary

Angkor, the capital of the Khmer empire, is famous for being the largest "dispersed," or "low-density," city in antiquity, with an estimated population of 750,000 people. Attracting and maintaining a large support population of agriculturalists to Angkor was paramount for Khmer rulers in order for them to amass the spiritual and physical capital needed to compete against their rivals in this society’s merit-based, temple economy. In the on-going conversation surrounding Angkor’s domestic archaeology, one emerging topic is identifying population pressures exerted by the monsoon-forest environment; correspondingly, this study seeks to answer what socio-ecological role tropical diseases played in Angkor’s population patterns. By utilizing GIS ecological modeling, this study will assess Angkor’s landscape for a select group of diseases’ likely local origins, reservoirs, vector habitability, and their paths for transmission; and, examine how these above variables would have changed over time and space in relation to the major land-use transformations of Angkor’s urban developmental sequence. Ultimately, the goal is to create a series of disease profiles which illustrate the socio-ecological impact of tropical diseases on Angkor’s population size, density, and health; with these results, general conclusions will also be possible for future demographic modeling of other pre-industrial, tropical state societies.


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Beyond the Bayon and Ta Phrom: Modeling Demography and Population Health at Angkor, Capital of Medieval Cambodia (802 – 1431 CE). Sophie Goldberg. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431277)


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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): 15211

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