Early Connections: Reflections on the canonical lineage of Southeast Asian Temples
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Temples were constructed across Southeast Asia following the spread of Brahmanic/Hindu culture between the fifth to eight centuries CE. Epigraphic evidence, architectural and stylistic similarities between temples in the region are strongly indicative of historic cross cultural links between the traditions. This paper presents the findings of a research project that pieces together fragments of evidence from early temple sites in Southeast Asia to establish the linkages between Southeast Asian temple building traditions. The focus of the paper is on tracing the canonical connections between these traditions through an examination of temple sites in Cambodia and Java respectively. The legacy of this ancient diasporic movement remains celebrated today in the admiration of Southeast Asian movements such as Angkor Wat and Prambanan. However this architecture evolved over time through a process of long experimentation with philosophies, world-views, and methods. In order to permit a deeper examination of canonical connections, the authors use methods such as photogrammetry, digital and physical models to reconstruct the architectural forms. A detailed analysis of the canonical geometry and compositional form of these temples is undertaken with reference to Indic texts and temples. Comparing the relationships between cosmology, geometry and physical form in this earlier sites with both Indian and developed Southeast Asian models, it is intended that its generative role with Southeast Asian architectural historiography can be clarified and more fully celebrated.
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Beynon, D.; Datta, Sambit (2005)From its early beginnings in the fifth century, the Brahmanic/Hindu tradition created a rich body of temples which spread across India and influenced temple building in Southeast Asia. The legacy of this ancient diasporic ...
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