In the late sixteenth century a mythical encounter was reported on an elephant hunt in the dense jungle north of the Great Lake of central Cambodia. King Satha and his retainers were beating a path through the undergrowth when they were halted by stone giants and a massive wall. The King, the fable reported, ordered 6,000 men to clear away the jungle, thereby exposing the city of Angkor - 'lost' for over a century.
Subsequent reports from Portuguese missionaries described its four gateways, with bridges flanked by stone figures leading across a moat. There were idols covered in gold, inscriptions, fountains, canals, and 'a temple with five towers, called Angor'. For four centuries, this huge complex has inspired awe amongst visitors from all over the world, but only now are its origins and history becoming clear.
Drawing on the latest research on prehistoric archaeology, epigraphy and art history, Charles Higham has written a clear and concise history of this remarkable civilization.show more