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Angkor at its maximum splendor

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  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Angkor at its maximum splendor
    Posted: 29-Oct-2008 at 14:49
According to Wikipedia, Angkor at its heday was probably the largest city in the world in terms of extension: spreading over 1200 square miles, and home to a population of more than a million.
 
Regarding the history of SE Asia, I am pretty much ignorant.
Was Angkor a "city" in the Eurasian sense in that it consisted of an urban landscape of apartments, alleyways, markets, and industrial centres or was it more similar to a Mayan city, which was more like an rural sprawl of fields and farm houses interrupted by temples and ceremonial platforms.
 
The extension of 1 million people over an extension of 1200 square miles would mean a very widespread mode of living; considering that Rome at its heyday had more than a million people spread over less than 10 square kilometres.
 
does anyone have any city plans of Angkor? Or any visual reconstructions of the city at its heyday?
 
Thanks
 
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  Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Oct-2008 at 09:21
Been to Angkor. It's amazing.

If the reliefs on the temples and accounts by the Chinese are anything to go by, the city is a real urban centre, with markets, etc, aspects you would normally associate with cities. However, most buildings are built of timber and predictably did not survive to present day. The city (except for some inner areas eg Angkor Thom) wouldn't be very densely populated though. Most people would live in single story/stilted houses and many would have land for farming as well (there are two large Barays or reservior in Angkor, and an extensive network of irrigation canals. It's still debated whether the Barays were ceremonial or actually used for agriculture though, but probably the latter).

Answer to your question, neither. It's not a densely populated city in the Eurasian sense, but it's not rural fields and temples either.

Tom Chandler at Monash University made a computer reconstruction of Angkor but I can't find any of his work on the net.

Some sources:
http://www.taxivantha.com/1_Cambodia/1501.htm
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,499844,00.html
A Record of Cambodia: the Land and its People, by the Chinese envoy Zhou Daguan, a contemporary account of Angkor in its heyday.


Edited by Voskhod - 30-Oct-2008 at 09:23
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  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 10:29

Did such an advanced civilization leave behind ANY of their own written records?

Was there any account of what their society and political structure was like? Were they a tolerant, cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic society, or were they heirarchial, authoriatarian, and puritanical?

 

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  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 10:44
Originally posted by calvo

does anyone have any city plans of Angkor?







Or any visual reconstructions of the city at its heyday?





Edited by edgewaters - 31-Oct-2008 at 10:53
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  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 11:07
Excellent maps! thanks
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  Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2008 at 06:10
Originally posted by calvo

Did such an advanced civilization leave behind ANY of their own written records?

Was there any account of what their society and political structure was like? Were they a tolerant, cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic society, or were they heirarchial, authoriatarian, and puritanical?



There were written records on some of the pillars at Angkor Wat (they had their own alphabet) but it's mostly kings glorifying themselves.

The King was considered divine and have despotic powers. However, the nature of South East Asian states before European imperialism in the 1800s was typically one of complex system of tributary states and vassals. Angkor is no exception, although there are evidence of a certain amount of centralisation under the reign of stronger kings, eg Jayavarman VII (his reign saw road and hospital building around the Empire) Certainly Angkor/Khmer cultural influence extends far beyond the capital (there are Angkorian style temples in the Isan region of modern Thailand, for example).
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  Quote Penelope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2008 at 06:52
Angkor is a Khmer term meaning "city". People who have an eye for beauty should definately visit it, since it is one of the most breath taking places on earth.
The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
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  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Nov-2008 at 21:13

Did they develop an advanced form of written language?

I find it hard to believe that such a large city with such a long history had left no literature, no administration records, and not even their own written history.

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  Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2008 at 11:54
The Angkorian Khmers had their own alphabet, similar to the modern script today. And...

Originally posted by myself

There were written records on some of the pillars at Angkor Wat (they had their own alphabet) but it's mostly kings glorifying themselves.


The only account of everyday life we know of is from a Chinese envoy in the 13th century. The Khmers' own historical records mostly dealt with royal affairs. As far as I'm aware of Khmer literature took off after the relocation of the capital from Angkor. The works are mostly religious texts or legends (eg Reamker, the Khmer version of the Ramayana).
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2012 at 21:20
Sharwina, behold your Cambodian mysteryApprove
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  Quote sharwina_7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2012 at 21:34
Originally posted by Nick1986

Sharwina, behold your Cambodian mysteryApprove


thankx buddy. urgently looking for East timor and brunei, thats important for me today
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