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Angkor: Urbanism and Political Economy

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Abstract

Few archaeologists are familiar with the variety of states and empires that characterized premodern Southeast Asia. Angkor, or the Khmer Empire, has become the exception to this rule as researchers have returned to its epicenter after a long period of geopolitical conflict. This lecture reflects on two decades of field-based archaeological research to review the anatomy and physiology of the Khmer Empire, based for most of its 600-year history in Greater Angkor. Angkorian urbanism holds intrinsic interest, but also comparative value in studying ancient states. So does the less-developed topic of political economy regarding both Angkor’s agrarian foundations and its industrial-scale ceramic and metallurgical production. Discoveries of large-scale stoneware ceramic kiln complexes and vast iron production sites have prompted archaeologists to consider competing models of state production, and implications these models hold for understanding the Khmer Empire.

Bio

Speaker:

Dr. Miriam T. Stark (Professor, Anthropology, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Hawai’i) has co-directed field-based archaeological projects across Cambodia for more than 25 years in collaboration with Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and APSARA Authority. Her work blends research and capacity-building to study the political economy and landscapes of Cambodia’s premodern states (find most of her publications here). She also currently directs the University of Hawai’i’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies, a nationally-funded center whose mission is to support the study of Southeast Asia.

Moderator

Dr. Eve Zucker, CKS President and Lecturer in Anthropology, Yale University, USA

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the publications and through webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. The designations employed in the publications and through the webinars, and the presentation of material therein, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. as to the matters discussed therein. The responsibility for opinions expressed in the publications and webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers, and the publication does not constitute an endorsement by The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. of the opinions, views or issues discussed therein.

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