Module 2

My name is Jacqueline Deming and I am currently a senior student majoring in Anthropology. There are several anthropological and archaeological areas of interest to me; in particular, the regions of the Ancient Near East, Egypt and Northern Africa, Scandinavia, China and the Far East. More concisely, what interests me most within these areas' histories are their religions and/or ideologies, social structures, art, literature, warfare, trade networks, as well as their influence upon and by neighboring cultures. Of course, archaeology is a useful tool when interpreting all of these societal aspects.

Module 4

This website gives a general overview of the history of the Angkor complex.
http://sacredsites.com/asia/cambodia/angkor_wat.html

Module 5

w-gopura-devata.jpg

This picture is of a devata (deity) on the West Gopura (entrance building) of Angkor Wat. Many devata such as this are found upon the walls of Angkor; in short, they are lesser deities comparable to the concept of a guardian angel or spirit.

The image can be found on http://www.devata.org, a page maintained by the Project Coordinator, Kent Davis.

Module 6

See Wiki pages link here.

Module 7

I am interested in Khmer leaders’ roles in constructing the sacred city Angkor as well as the symbolism found in the art and architecture among its monumental temples, most specifically Angkor Wat. The architectural construction of Angkor Wat, as well as of many other temples, are testaments to Hindu cosmology.

Key terms:
Angkor
Khmer Empire
Architecture
Art (reliefs)
Jayavarman II
Suryavarman II

Module 8

From Bruce G. Trigger's article, "Kerma: The Rise of an African Civilization.":

"The floodplains along the Nile constitute an important but as yet little utilized series of laboratories for the comparative study of the origins and interactions of ancient civilizations."

Module 9

A Comprehensive Archaeological Map of the World's Largest Preindustrial Settlement Complex at Angkor, Cambodia
Damian Evans, Christophe Pottier, Roland Fletcher, Scott Hensley, Ian Tapley, Anthony Milne and Michael Barbetti
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 104, No. 36 (Sep. 4, 2007), pp. 14277-14282
Published by: National Academy of Sciences

Comprehensive Archaeological Map of Angkor Article

Module 10

In the book “Angkor Wat: Time, Space and Kinship,” Mannikka (1996) states that Khmer kings trace their ancestry to an Indian named Kaundinya and to Soma, a Khmer snake princess. Khmer’s “politico-religious infrastructure” was heavily influenced by Indian culture (i.e. Brahman priests and sacred texts, deities, constellations and planets, and the Sanskrit written language).

According to Scarre and Fagan (2008), Khmer king Jayavarman II came to power in 802 A.D. and presented himself as a “Supreme King”—the literal reincarnation of Shiva on earth (influenced by the “deeply imbedded” Indian political philosophy of the king’s divine association with Shiva). The king oversaw a bureaucracy of elite families who supervised all aspects of Khmer life, “from agriculture to warfare, tax collection, and the rituals of the state religion.” The most important of all religious rituals became the building of a “new majestic and holy temple to house the royal linga of each king.” Jayavarman II successfully united Khmer mandalas (which had previously been run by overlords) into a unified state that peaked between A.D. 900 and 1200, and thus started a civilization whose “whole religious institutions functioned on the basis of consensus.”

The thirty successors following Jayavarman II left massive religious buildings commemorating their reigns. "These they built on artificial mounds in the center of the their capitals, the hub of the Khmer universe, an area known today as Angkor" (Scarre and Fagan 2008). The cult of divine kingship reached its height during the reign of Suryavarman II, builder of the Angkor Wat temple in the twelfth century.

Mannikka, Eleanor. Angkor Wat: Time, Space and Kingship. Honolulu, HI: Univ. of Hawai'i Press. 1996. Print.
Scarre, Cristopher and Brian M. Fagan. Ancient Civilizations. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2008. Print.

Module 11

Khmer royalty traced their ancestry back to an Indian named Kaundinya and to Soma, a Khmer snake princess (Mannikka 1996). (Snakes are an element found throughout Khmer architecture…examples will be shown in following sections). Khmer’s “politico-religious infrastructure” owes much of its style to Indian culture (through the implementation of Brahmanic priests and texts, deities, cosmology, as well as the Sanskrit written language). Scarre and Fagan (2008) state that Jayavarman II was the first king to successfully unite Khmer mandalas (which had previously been run by overlords) into a unified state that peaked between A.D. 900 and 1200, thus starting a civilization whose “whole religious institutions functioned on the basis of consensus.” When Jayavarman II came to power in 802 A.D., he presented himself as a “Supreme King”—the literal reincarnation of Shiva on earth (an element “deeply embedded” within Indian political philosophy which asserts the king’s divine association with Shiva). “He was to reign for sixty years and to establish the Khmer Empire firmly in the capital and territories, constitution and religion which it continued to enjoy for the next six centuries” (MacDonald 44). Jayavarman II sought to find a place where he could “develop a strong administration without interference” from foreigners. He built a city near present-day Anghor Thom, then one near present-day West Baray, and finally a fortress-capital north of Phnom Kulen (Malcolm and MacDonald 44). He then had a Brahman priest perform a unique ceremony that established his capital’s independence and not only his divine kingship, but his actual deification.

MacDonald, Malcolm. Angkor. New York, NY: Praeger. 1959. Print.
Mannikka, Eleanor. Angkor Wat: Time, Space and Kingship. Honolulu, HI: Univ. of Hawai'i Press. 1996. Print.
Scarre, Cristopher and Brian M. Fagan. Ancient Civilizations. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2008. Print.


Module 12



Above is the attached Google Earth file. These pictures from it include (1) greater Angkor, (2) Angkor Thom and (3) Angkor Wat.

Greater_Angkor.jpg

Angkor_Thom.jpg

Angkor_Wat1.jpg

Module 13

In this article, Richard Stone discusses how the “most extensive urban complex of the preindustrial world” could have fallen into ruin. There are several hypotheses that researchers have developed in response to the mystery: foreign invaders, a religious conversion to Theravada Buddhism, a shift to maritime trade that crippled the inland city. Despite “roughly 1,300 inscriptions [that] survive on temple doorjambs and freestanding stelae…the people of Angkor left not a single word explaining their kingdoms collapse.” Stone believes that excavations of the city’s infrastructure, rather than the excavations of the temples, are where the answer lies. The control of Southeast Asia’s seasonal floods that allowed the empire to prosper also destroyed it once control of that was lost.

Stone, Richard. "Diving Angkor." National Geographic 216.1 (2009): 26-55. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Nov 2010.

Module 14

According to the article, Angkor Wat's position as a "hydraulic city" that owed its existence to the complex irrigation network that it was a part of has been challenged since the 1980s; although the debate is still ongoing as "the broader context of the monumental remains was only partially understood and had not been adequately mapped." Those from the international Greater Angkor Project (GAP) now have found much evidence supporting the previously-held theory by creating an extensive and comprehensive archaeological map of the Greater Angkor region covering over 3,000 km2. They primarily focus on "spatial structure, the water management network, and the reasons for the decline of Angkor," through a variety of archaeological mapping techniques, especially airborne imaging radar done for them by NASA. They found that the irrigation network alone of Angkor covers over 1,000km2, which reveals "Angkor as an extensive settlement landscape inextricably linked to the water resources that it increasingly exploited over the first half of its existence."

Evans, Damian et. al. "A Comprehensive Archaeological Map of the World's Largest Preindustrial Settlement Complex at Angkor, Cambodia." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104.36 (2007): 14277-14282. JStor. Web. 21 Nov 2010. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25436662