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Angkor/Khmer empire

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Hannah Aikman

on 13 November 2012

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Transcript of Angkor/Khmer empire

Largest Hindu temple on earth... Angkor/Khmer empire History of Angkor Wat How did the empire come to an end? How the empire came to power What was society like during the time of the Angkor/Khmer empire? Some of the empires greatest achievements Angkor Wat, the largest and most impressive temple in the world, was built in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura, Cambodia, by king Suryavaraman II. The Angkor/Khmer people were previously ruled by King Suryavaraman II's uncle; until one day teenage King Suryavaraman II murdered his uncle so he could take the position of king. After the murder of King Suryavarman II's uncle, King Suryavarman took over from where his uncle left off. He ordered his people to build the Angkor Wat and other temples around the area. Angkor Wat was to represent how powerful King Suryavarman II was and was built in honor of the god Vishnu. Angkor Wat took approximately 34 years to build, resulting in many slaves dying in the process from being overworked. But how did the Angkor/Khmer people build the Angkor Wat so quickly? Most modern day buildings can't even be built as quick as the Angkor Wat! So how did they do it? The Angkor/Khmer people were extremely smart with the way they built the Angkor Wat. They used man made rivers they built themselves as their main way of transporting all the large pieces of sandstone around the area they were building Angkor Wat with. They also had some of the most modern roads in world for that time. They fitted the sandstone so perfectly together, every carving was done to perfection and everything had to be perfect to honor the god Vishnu. Carvings on Angkor Wat The carvings on Angkor Wat were done to perfection. Every centimeter had to be perfect; it is believed that if one of the carvers even made the simplest mistake it was immediate execution for the person who made the mistake. The carvings were of everything that had happened in Angkor Wat. It showed the Angkor/Khmer people living their day to day lives, King Suryavaraman II's day to day life and any big events that had happened in the past Agriculture and the rivers Angkor/Khmer people relied on agriculture and the rivers and lakes around Angkor Wat to survive. They built several river ways to help transport there crops, themselves and several other things around the empire. The rivers they created provided water for their crops as well. The Angkor/Khmer people relied very much on the rivers around them. They also heavily relied on agriculture to survive as well. In the Angkor/Khmer empire the king always came first, he was looked upon as a god. Brahmins and the central temple came 2nd. The Regional temple and priests came 3rd. The village people came 4th and the village temple came 5th. What was more important? Main religion The main religion of the Angkor/Khmer people was Hinduism. That was the religion of the king, so the majority of the the village people followed the same religion. involving the empire. Clothing The clothing of the Angkor/Khmer people was very plain if you were poor, and wealthier people wore brighter clothing. But wealthy and poor people wore very similar clothing; the only real difference were the colors and patterns. Wealthier people wore robes that were bright colored and had patterns, they also wore beautiful head pieces. The poorer people wore robes like the wealthier people but the design and colour was very plain and usually dirty from working so hard everyday. Women Women were treated equally in society; most other countries and empires do not treat their women equally with men, this makes the Angkor/Khmer people very unique. Many women had jobs and owned their own land. In fact women were treated so equally that many of them were king Suryavaraman II's personal body guards. King Suryavaraman II also believed that any good looking women would have to be one of his slaves, king Suryavaraman II trusted women more than he did men. Women also were able to teach the local children at schools and such. Village people The village people were either farmers, peasants or slaves. The empire's main source of food was the rice crops they grew down at the rivers, so many of the village people farmed for a living. Many people worked for the king and many of the women stayed home to cook and clean. Many of the children attended school and were well educated. War During the time that Angkor Wat was being built the Angkor/Khmer people were attacked and went to war with the Champa people for about 20 years. During this time the Angkor Wat protected the village people and stayed strong. The Angkor/Khmer people won the war against the Champa people using their unique style of martial arts, fighting skills and used the Angkor Wat as a type of mega shield from their enemies. Good water ways The Angkor/Khmer people were very smart with the way they built their rivers. They made sure they were all connected and all lead to the Angkor Wat. This ensured that transportation of crops and people was easier. Angkor Wat The Angkor Wat itself in obviously one their greatest achievements. It took thousands of people to build it and it only took the Angkor/Khmer people approximately 30 years to build; that is extremely quick for a building as big as Angkor Wat, most ancient buildings such as the great wall of china or the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris took much longer. The Angkor Wat has a moat and an outer wall of 3.6 kilometres and it is about 1 square kilometer in size. Rice feilds The amount of rice fields that the Angkor/Khmer people grew were outstanding. The rice fields fed an empire of about 1 million people and they still had enough rice to sell to other empires! Road ways Angkor Wat's road ways were very modern back in its glory days. They were build so sufficiently that it made trading and transportation very easy. Political and social changes Plague Religious changes Water way break down War with Champa and Ayutthaya people The people of Angkor Wat began to change their opinions on their leaders and religious views. Resulting with many of the Angkor/Khmer people packing up their things and leaving Angkor Wat. The plague played a large roll in the result of people leaving Angkor Wat, if they hadn't caught the disease already. The plague was a deadly disease that meant certain death. The plague was called the bubonic plague or also known as the black death. The plague appeared in China at what was believed approximately 1345 and quickly spread rapidly down through south-east Asia. If you were diagnosed with the plague you automatically were put in a place in Angkor Wat were you were isolated from the rest of the village so you wouldn't pass on the disease. It went around Angkor Wat extremely quickly and killed many of the village people. It effected many of the farmers as well. With the majority of the farmers sick or dead the crops were not taken proper care of and crops eventually died and trading and selling food with other empires quickly stopped. Many of the Angkor/Khmer people began to change their minds on what religion to follow. Many of the village people chose to convert to Buddhism. In Buddhism you do not have to worship your king as much and other things in life come before your king. Buddhism is a much simpler way of life. Because of this religious change many of the Angkor/Khmer people moved away and stopped serving their king, because in the Buddhism religion people do not put their king first. In result of so many people moving away because of their religious changes, when Angkor Wat was attacked by neighboring empires they were extremely weak and were an easy target and their water ways failed because not enough people were there to maintain them. In result of so many people leaving the Angkor Wat and so many people dying in result of the plague the maintenance of the water ways were not taken care of and the water ways quickly failed due to blockages of trees and such things. This also meant that fresh water was not able to flow properly to the empire and not enough water was able to be used to water the crops. The Angkor/Khmer people had gone to war with the Champa and Ayutthaya people in the past and were successful at winning wars against them but due to the lack of guards and people in the empire to fight against apposing threats the Angkor Wat became an easy target. The Champa and Ayutthaya people took advantage of the situation and invaded the Angkor Wat. With not enough people to protect the empire the empire came to an end and was taken over by the Champa and Ayutthaya people. The Angkor Wat had gone from being an all mighty empire that was home to a million people to quickly becoming an abandoned city. So how do we know so much about the Angkor Wat and its past? The answer is we don't. We are still learning more and more extraordinary things about the Angkor Wat to this day, but if it wasn't for a chinese man by the name of Zhou Daguan we would not know much about the Angkor Wat at all. Zhou Daguan was a man who was a diplomat under Emperor Chengzong of Yuan. Zhou Daguan was visiting Angkor Wat as a representative of China. During his time at the Angkor Wat he wrote a very detailed report on his stay there and wrote about how day to day life went for the people there. Today Zhou Daguan's report on the Angkor Wat is regarded as one of the greatest pieces of writing that show what life in Angkor Wat was like in its glory days. Besides the carvings on the temple walls on Angkor Wat showing day to day life Zhou Daguan's writings show the most detail about their life there. References . Wikipedia
. Integrated book
. google
. Class discussion
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