views updated May 21 2018

Angkor Ancient Khmer capital and temple complex, nw Cambodia. The site contains the ruins of several stone temples erected by Khmer rulers, many of which lie within the walled enclosure of Angkor Thom, the capital built (1181–95) by Jayavarman VII (c.1120–1215). Angkor Wat, the greatest structure in terms of its size and the quality of its carving, lies outside the main complex. Thai invaders destroyed the Angkor complex in 1431, and it remained virtually neglected until French travellers rediscovered it in 1858. Conservationists restored Angkor Wat piece by piece until the followers of Pol Pot ravaged Cambodia in the civil war (1970–75).


views updated May 29 2018

Angkor. Capital in central Cambodia of the Khmers, a people of N. Indo-Chinese origin, established by Yaśovarman II (889–910 CE). A successor in the dynasty, Sūryavarman II (1112–52), raised Angkor Wāt (wāt, ‘city temple’) on the site as a fortress-temple dedicated to Devarāja and to himself as an avatāra of Viṣṇu.

Close by is Angkor Thom which was established as a new capital by Jayavarman VII (1181–c.1210), with the Bayon as its ceremonial centre.


views updated Jun 08 2018

Angkor the capital of the ancient kingdom of Khmer in NW Cambodia, noted for its temples, especially the Angkor Wat (mid 12th century); the site was rediscovered in 1860.