Urbanism and Residential Patterning in Angkor


Greater Angkor (9-15th centuries CE) was mainland Southeast Asia’s largest low-density urban area. Some of the most visible aspects of this landscape are the large stone temples constructed by Angkorian kings and elites. While many scholars have hypothesized that these temple enclosures were loci of habitation, few have documented this archaeologically. In this paper, we present the results of two field seasons of excavation at the temple site of Ta Prohm, part of a broader research program that was the first to intensively study temple enclosures for occupation. We used lidar data to focus our excavations and sample various locations within the enclosure. This work demonstrates evidence for residential occupation within the temple enclosure from the pre-11th century CE to the 14th century. A comparison with previous work exploring habitation areas within the Angkor Wat temple enclosure highlight similarities and differences in mound construction, organization of the internal grid system, intensity of habitation, and dates of occupation. We argue that temple habitation was a key component of the Angkorian low-density urban system and that investigating this unique form of urbanism deepens current comparative research on the diversity of ancient cities.

Cite this Record

Urbanism and Residential Patterning in Angkor. Alison K. Carter, Piphal Heng, Miriam Stark, Rachna Chhay, Damian Evans. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444432)

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Other Urbanism

Geographic Keywords
Asia: Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 92.549; min lat: -11.351 ; max long: 141.328; max lat: 27.372 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20396