A Morphological Analysis of Sandstone Temples in the Provinces of the Angkorian Khmer Empire

Author(s): Kendall Hills

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Current State of Archaeological Research across Southeast Asia" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Archaeological research in Cambodia was traditionally relatively narrow in scope. Our knowledge of the Khmer Empire (9th to 15th century CE ) has been primarily informed via two lines of evidence: epigraphic sources, especially in the form of temple inscriptions, and art historical analysis of monumental architecture. Due to the large corpus of monumentality found within the Khmer capital of Angkor, research was also heavily geographically focused on the imperial core. Although a large collection of temples has been documented beyond the capital, scholars generally have not engaged critically with this massive architectural dataset. This paper explores how this architectural data can be leveraged to discuss issues of imperial integration and control, and intermediate elite power in the provinces of the Khmer Empire. Emphasis is placed on a morphological analysis of the sandstone temples to investigate how rigorously the imperial architectural template was applied in the provinces. Through studying temples as artifacts, this paper analyzes the formal and organizational traits of temple models to identify regional variability in temple construction. This analytical approach to temples moves away from the traditional art historical focus of core temples and provides an avenue to test degrees of imperial control.

Cite this Record

A Morphological Analysis of Sandstone Temples in the Provinces of the Angkorian Khmer Empire. Kendall Hills. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451545)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25526