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The Khmer Civilization

The Khmer or Cambodian civilization, although very little known, was nevertheless—through the Khmer Empire and the archaeological site of Angkor in Cambodia which attests to it —a major power in Southeast Asia .

But what is this civilization?

Several thousand years old, this civilization would have begun in the so-called pre-Angkorian era (before the advent of the Khmer Empire), with the creation of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the 1st century AD .

It was characterized by a sophisticated and highly developed culture, with a rich history and heritage that continues to influence the region to this day.

According to legend, it was Queen Neang Neak , also known as the daughter of the King of the Nagas (mythical deities of Hinduism who were half-human, half-serpents) who was the first sovereign of this country.

Neang Neak queen of Cambodia

This was followed by the very powerful Khmer Empire founded in 802 AD. BC by King Jayavarman II .

An empire that ruled for several centuries over most of Southeast Asia and included Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Burma.

Khmer Empire map

One of the most notable achievements of Khmer civilization was the construction of Angkor, a huge temple complex that was the center of the Khmer empire.

The Angkor site is made up of 200 temples located over more than 400 square km and was the capital of the Empire from the 9th to the 14th century AD.

Angkor was home to a number of impressive temples, including the famous Angkor Wat , which is considered one of the most beautiful temples in the world.

Angkor Wat

Spread over a site of more than 162 hectares and built by Khmer King Suryavarman II at the beginning of the 12th century, it is the largest temple and religious monument in the world.

A breathtaking archaeological site containing truly magnificent artistic works.

Khmer art Angkor

Besides the construction of Angkor, the Khmer civilization was also known for its advanced system of government and highly developed society.

The Khmer Empire was ruled by a powerful and efficient monarchy with a complex bureaucracy and a well-organized system of governance. The Khmers were also skilled farmers, artisans, and traders, and they played a key role in the spread of Buddhism and Hinduism throughout Southeast Asia.

Despite its many achievements, Khmer civilization eventually declined in the 15th century, in part due to internal conflicts and external invasions by neighboring empires. Today, the legacy of Khmer civilization lives on in the art, architecture and culture of modern Cambodia, and remains a source of pride and inspiration for the Cambodian people.

Overall, the Khmer civilization was a truly remarkable civilization that left a lasting impact on Southeast Asia and the world. Its rich history and enduring legacy continue to fascinate and inspire people around the world, making it an important and fascinating subject for anyone interested in world history.

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