The Khmer Civilization The Khmer Civilization came into existence in 802 and lasted till 1431 A.D. Its emergence came when the Khmer rulers adopted a political doctrine, which enforced the unity among the people. After this doctrine, and the people united, they developed an irrigation system that flourish and controlled the water along the nearby Mekong River for their agricultures. This enhanced their prosperity, and made them a great civilization. However, due to a loss of water control, threats from neighboring states, perishing devotion to the “god-king” led to the civilizations fall. Although the civilization has perished, it left outstanding monuments such as the great Khmer temples of Angkor Wat and Bayon and numerous unique sculptures.
How Architecture is dictated by Religion As the temples are meant to be lasting and permanent symbols of the Khmer peoples’ faith; they are constructed of more endurable material then the homes of the common citizens, and even of the nobles. The most common material that the temples were constructed of were brick and sandstone. Many crafts people sculpted beautiful and elaborate decorations and statues of their deities. These adorned the five temples and represented the myth of Mahabharata and Ramayana and also depicted certain important events from the Khmer history. Phanom Rung temple complex. This temple is a walled-in enclosure, with both the door frames and walls carved in beautiful designs of Lopburi Period style with Khmer influence. The beauty of the main prang of Phanom Rung lies not only in its plan, but in the vibrant stone carvings which cover large parts of the temple.
Festivities and Traditions <ul><li>SPIRITS COMMEMORATION FESTIVAL (September) </li></ul><ul><li>BONN KATHEN (October) </li></ul><ul><li>WATER FESTIVAL (November) </li></ul><ul><li>BONN TANG TOH (October) Khmer Monks </li></ul>
Historical Role of Religion in Khmer Politics Khmer interpretations of both religions were unique in that they allowed for the de-facto deification of the ruling monarch, and this was the capacity in which religion was most politically relevant; as a quasi-deity, the monarch’s authority was essentially dictatorial.
Khmer (Cambodian) Archaeology Royal Institute of Fine Arts Khmer Archaeology for the people founded at Royal University of Fine Arts in the mid 1960’s. Training is made available to the indigenous people French Archaeologist: Henri Mansuy – directed most of research with help of other French nationals. Carving at the Angkor Temple
Angkor Temple The Khmer Civilization had long been perished over 5 centuries ago, but it left outstanding monuments such as the great Khmer temples of Angkor Wat and Bayon and numerous unique sculptures like Apsara. The word "Angkor" is derived Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, of "Nagara" which means "City". Angkor Wat literally means "City of Temple" and Angkor Thom "The Magnificent City".