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Life in Angkor’s Provinces: What Can We Learn From Archaeology?


Most archaeological research on the Angkor civilization has focused on the capital, located in Siem Reap province and home to famous temples like Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. However, the Angkor Empire controlled a large part of mainland Southeast Asia, including provincial zones in what is now Battambang Province. This presentation focuses on archaeological work conducted at one provincial location: the village of Baset in Battambang province. King Suryavarman I constructed a temple here in 1018 CE, yet inscriptions and archaeological investigations show that people lived in this area for hundreds of years before the temple was constructed. Our archaeological project, the Pteah Project, seeks to understand what daily life was like at Baset village before, during, and after temple construction. What kinds of activities were taking place? What were people eating and growing? What was the environment like? Did life change as this area became part of the Angkor Empire? I will present results from our archaeological research around Prasat Baset that seeks to answer these questions.



Speaker: Alison Kyra Carter is an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Oregon and has conducted archaeological research in Cambodia since 2005. Her current research focuses on the excavation of residential areas dating to the Angkor period (9-15th centuries CE) and earlier, both within Angkor’s capital and its provinces. This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and National Geographic and published in such journals as Science Advances and PNAS. Her other research focuses on the compositional analysis and study of stone and glass beads and their exchange and use at sites across Southeast Asia.

Moderator: Dr. Darith Ea received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh in 1995, his Master’s degree from Kyoto University in 2000, and his Doctoral degree from Osaka Ohtani University in Japan in 2010. From 2000 to June 2021, he has been working at APSARA National Authority, teaching “The History of Khmer Ceramics” at the Royal University of Fine Arts, and teaching “The History of Cambodia and World History” at Pannasastra University. Since July 2021, he has been working at the National Authority for Preah Vihear as Director of the Department of Conservation and Archaeology.

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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