John Sandy, GHF Regional Director for Asia Most of the 12th-century Khmer monuments in Angkor are partial ruins, hidden under dense jungle. Now the Global Heritage Fund, which is promoting its ‘Preservation by Design’, is developing a 3D radar-imaging system to record the unique bas-relief walls and face towers of the Banteay Chhmar Temple in […]
Temple trivia from around the world.
The ancient temples of Angkor have endured nearly a millennium of conflict and warfare, but will this new visitor boom, asks Tom St John Gray, be the most deadly threat to their survival? The capital of a flourishing empire between the 9th and 15th centuries, Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South- east Asia. This year Cambodia invited visitors from around the world to enter the ‘Kingdom of Wonder’, and tourists responded in their millions.
The sprawling city at Angkor covered, at its peak, an astonishing 1,000km², and formed the heart of a Khmer Empire which spread across present day Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Banteay Chhmar is one of the crowning glories of King Jayavarman VII’s reign (AD 1181-c.1219). But this magnificent Khmer temple, an architectural tour de force, lies crumbling in forest near the Cambodian border. John Sanday and the Global Heritage Fund must overcome more than just neglect to save this site for posterity.
Visiting Angkor Wat, Ayutthayan, Bangkok and a spectacular Bronze Age cemetary at Ban Non Wat
One of South-East Asia’s most celebrated archaeological sites and one of the great marvels of the world, Angkor Wat appeared in the very first issue of CWA, as well as in #5 and, most recently, #50. Stretching over 400km², the surrounding archaeological park includes the various capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th-15th century, as well as the famous temple of Angkor Thom. But when exploration began in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was quickly obvious that there was strong Indian influence. What can new research tell us about Angkor’s origins?