Dr. Heng and Dr. Stark New Co-authored Article
We are pleased to introduce our Interim Associate Director and our Director new co-authored article on ‘Form, structure and long-term Angkorian urbanism: A view from the Kok Phnov site (9th–10th century CE)’
The capital of Angkor remained the powerbase of the Khmer polity for more than 600 years, indicating its resilience. Recent work at Angkor investigates the evolution of this massive agro-urban center, but most of that research has focused on large-scale landscape developments rather than occupational sequences at urban localities. Our paper blends remotely-sensed ground survey, excavation, art historic, and epigraphic data in the Pre Rup area (and specifically around the Kok Phnov settlement) to provide a fine-grained perspective on the development of Angkor’s urban configuration through time. We write against the assumption that successive state temples defined neighborhoods and temple communities across Angkor urban space and illustrate their interconnectivity as “districts” that sustained the urban core. Districts, as administrative units, included civic-ceremonial, craft production, and residential neighborhoods. Drawing on field-based investigations of mound clusters at Kok Phnov we offer evidence for continuous habitation and craft production from the 9th–16th centuries. We use this patterning in the larger Eastern District to argue that Angkorian urbanism developed unevenly through time and space, and that bottom-up social forces – as well as state design and topography – crafted its form. Such neighborhoods and districts were foundational elements to Angkorian urbanism, and studying their occupational sequences sheds light on Angkor’s dynamic and resilient 600-year urban history.
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