at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

The Age of Angkor: From the Inside Outward



The Age of Angkor: From the Inside Outward

Miriam Stark
Anthropology, University of Hawai`i

Thursday, September 5th, 3:00 pm, in Crawford Hall 115

Portuguese missionaries who visited Indochina in the 16th century encountered a vast ancient city at the northern edge of the Tonle Sap Lake of what is now Cambodia. Abandoned for 150 years, some buildings had been partially restored as a Buddhist pilgrimage center; many monuments had been given over to the forest. By the mid 19th century, French colonial Henri Mouhot sparked the European public’s interest in Angkor Wat and its associated temples. This vast pre-industrial urban complex that we now call Angkor was the seat of Southeast Asia’s largest kingdom from the 9th through 15th centuries CE. How did it develop? What did it look like? And what factors led to its abandonment as a political center for the Khmer Empire in the 15th century CE? Since the late 1990s, archaeologists have returned to Cambodia to study these questions, and the Greater Angkor Project has led such field-based investigations. This lecture contextualizes the Age of Angkor from its core region that we know call Great Angkor. Field-based archaeological research from the Greater Angkor Project’s Phase III (2010-2015), offers insights on the developmental trajectory, scale, and history of the Khmer Empire.

PROFESSOR MIRIAM STARK has worked in collaboration with Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts since 1996 on the archaeology of the Mekong Delta. She joined the Greater Angkor Project as a Co-Investigator for their Phase III (2010-2015) research; this project involves collaboration with APSARA Authority, the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), and the University of Sydney. Her research concentrates on several interrelated themes: pottery analysis, regional survey, and the rise of social complexity. Dr. Stark has published extensively on her Southeast Asian archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research for more than 20 years; besides journal and book articles, her publications include several edited volumes and special journal issues. She edited the journal Asian Perspectives from 2000-2006, directs the Luce Asian Archaeology Program, serves on the Executive Committee of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, and serves as Archaeology Editor for American Anthropologist.

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