The Adaptive Capacity of the Water Management System of Angkor, Cambodia

Author(s): Sarah Klassen

Year: 2018


This paper assesses the relationship between elements of adaptive capacity of a water management system among six time periods. The archaeological case study, Angkor, Cambodia, was the center of the Khmer Empire for over 600 years (9th-15th centuries CE). During this time, the Khmers developed one of the largest and most complex water management systems in the pre-industrial world. In this paper, I use geographic information system analyses to quantitatively and qualitatively assess six elements of adaptive capacity (the amount of water harnessed by the system, investments in infrastructure, human capital, redundancy, equal distribution of resources, and innovation) for six time periods. The relationships and trade-offs among the six elements shed light on agricultural production at Angkor as well as general theory on what elements contribute to the resilience of water management systems.

Cite this Record

The Adaptive Capacity of the Water Management System of Angkor, Cambodia. Sarah Klassen. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444433)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20155