Travelling cultures in the first millennium: variations in pre-angkorean temples
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In contemporary Asia-Pacific societies, the notion of travel is often used as a theoretical aid to understand built environments. Theories of migration, cultural interaction and hybridity are employed to explain or speculate on the nature of these societies and their architecture. However, such cultural movement and exchange is nothing new. Since the origins of recorded history cultures in this region have moved, met and exchanged ideas, culture and technology. An example of this is the spread of the Brahmanic/Hindu temple form from India to Cambodia, Java and Champa in the fifth to eight centuries CE. These include some of the earliest brick and stone monuments extant in Southeast Asia, and thus form a pivotal body of evidence concerning the movement of religious, structural and architectonic ideas across Asia. While historical accounts, epigraphic evidence and the overall composition, applied statuary and motifs of the temples in these regions are indicative of strong links, a lack of architectural treatises from Southeast Asia in this period means that specific architectural connections remains the subject of speculation and contestation. This paper will concentrate on the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen, northwest of Angkor and a key site in the development of the Khmer temple. In their composition and detail the temples at Phnom Kulen indicate the convergence of ideas from India, Champa and Java, as well as the development of indigenous Khmer traditions. Thus they provide evidence of hybridity, cultural and technological exchange that suggest notions of travel and migrancy as eloquently as any contemporary example.
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Datta, Sambit; Beynon, D. (2011)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 ...
Datta, Sambit; Beynon, D. (2008)The temples of Southeast Asia are remarkable and intriguing in their architecture, in that they are obviously derivative from Indic canon and yet profoundly original and different from the corpus of the subcontinent. ...
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 ...