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A History of Cambodia: from Funan to Modern Times

Dr. Ea Darith will present a brief history of Cambodia covering more than 2000 years, from the Funan to Modern times. During the three kingdoms period, in the mid-3rd century C.E., two Chinese envoys were sent to record the history of Southeast Asian countries. Cambodia was called Funan from approximately 1st to 6th centuries C.E. during which the capital was located at Angkor Borei, Takeo province with its international trading port at Oc Eo. After that, from the 6th to the 8th century C.E., the Chinese recorded Cambodia as Chenla whereby the early 8th century C.E., Chenla was divided into Water Chenla in Ishanapura and Land Chenla in Lingapura/Shrestapura. Then from the 9th to 15th centuries C.E., the capital of the Khmer empire was located on Mahendraparavata, Hariharalaya, Yoshodharapura, Lingapura (Chok Gargyar), and Yoshodharapura. After that, from 15th century C.E., the capital was moved to Chaktomuk city (Phnom Penh), 16th century C.E. to Longvek, 17th century C.E. to Udong Mean Chhey, and finally returned to Phnom Penh in 19th century C.E up until the present.

  • Slide presentation is available here



Dr. Ea Darith received his Ph.D. degree from Osaka Ohtani University in 2010. He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh in 1995, his Master’s Degree from Kyoto University in 2000. Since 2000, he has been working at the APSARA Authority and teaching the History of Khmer Ceramics at the Royal University of Fine Arts. He has long coordinated a spectrum of diverse projects between the APSARA Authority and numerous international teams. Darith’s main research interests focus on Khmer stoneware ceramics from the ninth to fifteenth centuries. He has published widely on this subject in particular and maintains an interest in the transition from the Angkorian to the Cambodian Middle Period at Angkor.


Mr. Duong Keo is a history lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a Ph.D. candidate at Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany. He obtained his BA in History from the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) in 2008 and an MA in Southeast Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, in 2014. He engages in developing educational tools, doing research on Cambodian violence past and post-conflict Cambodia, oral history and memory politics, and training and teaching students on modern Cambodian history. He is a lead author of the Khmer Rouge History App, a multi-media application to help students learn Khmer Rouge history. He also published a book entitled, “Khmer Rouge Nationalism and Mass Killing: Perceptions of the Vietnamese”. 

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