Khmer women in divine context

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Angkor Wat Apsara and Devata : Khmer women in divine context is a rich and well researched online resource dedicated to the women of the Khmer Empire (9th-15th century). Being great builders, the Khmer filled the landscape with monumental temples, huge reservoirs and canals, and laid an extensive network of roads with bridges. Angkor Wat is the best known and most stunning temple. It is, in fact, a microcosm of the Hindu universe. Covering 200 hectares it is the world’s largest religious complex. Its construction was started by the Khmer king Suryavarman II around 1122 CE and took some 30 years to complete. The walls of Angkor Wat house a royal portrait gallery with 1,795 women realistically rendered in stone. Although the temple complex has been researched extensively in terms of architecture, art and archaeology, not much is known about these women.

Devata.org aims to provide answers to questions like:

∙ Who were the women of Angkor Wat?

∙ Why are images of women immortalized with the most prominent placement in the largest temples the Khmer civilization ever built?

∙ What did these women mean to the Khmer rulers, priests and people?

∙ How does the Cambodian dance tradition relate to the women of Angkor Wat?

∙ Do the women of Angkor Wat embody information important to us in modern times?

This online resource gives access to articles about books and authors relating to Khmer history, Cambodian dance, children of Angkor, women’s history and heritage preservation. The focus, however, is on the women of Angkor Wat and other Khmer temples. Features like an Angkor Wat Devata Inventory, the Devata Database Project, Facial Pattern Recognition of the Angkor Wat portraits, photo galleries and a range of research articles provide insight into the rich culture of the Khmer people.

4th Siem Reap Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies

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Plov veach kom borss borng (Don’t abandon the indirect road): Divergent Approaches to Cambodian Visual Cultures

Siem Reap, 6-8 December, 2013

The annual Siem Reap Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies is designed to bring together the foremost experts in a very specific subject area, over two or three days, with a view to advancing scholarship in that particular domain.

Following previous successful conferences on Epigraphy & Databases (2009-10), Archaeometallurgy (2011) and the History of Religions (2012), the organising committee of the annual Siem Reap Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies is pleased to announce that the meeting will be dedicated, in 2013, to the topic of Art History and Visual Cultures.

Divergent Approaches to Cambodian Visual Cultures, the theme of the 4th Siem Reap Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies seeks to promote scholarship which tends to be positioned outside the traditional conventions of Khmer Art History.

Colleagues who wish to present a paper at the conference should submit a paper title and abstract (approx 150 words) by August 15th, 2013 to the organising committee. Attendance of the conference is free. Detailed information can be found on the conference homepage

John Thomson, The Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, 1866 Albumen print, British Library, Photo 983 (24)

John Thomson, The Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, 1866
Albumen print, British Library, Photo 983 (24)

Khmer Thesis Database

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www.khmerthesis.info is an online database which provides information about dissertation theses written by Cambodian researchers about Cambodia to persuade their bachelor, master, and/or doctorate degree. The website also provides information about scholarship, dissertation/thesis defence date and other information relating to the research field. The purpose of the website is to:

  • Disseminate and raise awareness of the current state of research to students and researchers.
  • Provide the possibility for students and researchers to access research information in order to increase their understanding of research in Cambodia.
  • Promote participation of government and private institutions in providing and sharing their research information and documents.


Access to the website www.khmerthesis.info is free, and in addition to the general information there is usually a link to the list of contents or an abstract of any particular thesis. The original thesis (mostly in Khmer language) can usually be found at the library of the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) http://www.rufa.edu.kh/.