The Comparative Study Of Ancient Settlements At Kol In Cambodia And Phnom Rung In Thailand
THE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF ANCIENT SETTLEMENTS AT KOL IN CAMBODIA AND PHNOM RUNG IN THAILAND
Mr. Kim Samnang
Dr. Klairung Amratisha
Colonel Assistant Professor Dr. Surat Lertlum
Degree: MA in Southeast Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University 2009
ANCIENT SETTLEMENT / KOL / PHNOM RUNG / ANGKOR / PHIMAI / CAMBODIA, THAILAND
As a result of the emergence of the Angkorian Empire from the 9th to 13th Century A.D., there were many ancient agglomerate areas, small towns/cities, and other satellite provincial towns established over the huge territory under the influence of the Angkor imperial power. The Kol and Phnom Rung areas have been identified as crucial ancient agglomerate areas along the royal road from Yashodharapura (the Angkor center in Cambodia) to the provincial town of Vimayapura (the Phimai temple in today’s north-east Thailand). One is located close to the Angkor center, while the other one would be considered as in the provincial sphere.
Using these ancient agglomerate areas established during the Angkor period, a new knowledge of comparative study of development of ancient settlements scattering at the Kol and Phnom Rung areas was introduced by utilizing the Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and archaeological study approach. A series of aerial photographs (from 1945, 1954-7, 1967, 1976 and 2004), satellite images (from 2000 and 2007) and other topographic vector data were applied to interpret ancient traces that were analyzed together with survey data from the field gathered using GIS and RS applications. In addition, the architectural features of artistic lintel of temples and inscription sources were also examined to study the dates and histories/events from the past.
Due to the density of remaining ancient settlements spread over these regions, the results indicate that both Kol and Phnom Rung has been occupied since the prehistoric times, with both of them being noticeably developed as crowded and large agglomerate areas during the Angkor period. In this aspect, Kol and Phnom Rung were influenced by a similar program of urbanization from the Angkor court. Additionally, under the same domination of the Angkor court, similarities and differences were discovered in these two areas. Those similarities are: general space lay-out of (1) worship places, (2) water reservoirs, (3) Kok(s) or elevated areas/mounds (residential places) and (4) the civil engineering structure of traces of road networks. The differences are: (1) general environment and geography, and (2) the civil engineering structure of ancient stone bridge.