Buddhist Terraces at Angkor Thom: Exploring the Urban Evolution of the Khmer Capital from Mahayana to Theravada Buddhism through the Mapping and Analysis of Theravada Architectural Infrastructure


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


My Dissertation seeks to analyze the urban development and evolution of the Khmer capital of Angkor Thom during the gradual religious transition between Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism (c.1296-1431 CE) through the survey and analysis of "Buddhist Terraces", multi-tiered monastic constructions which are thought to have served as focal points for the facilitation of Theravada practice within the capital. As scholarship has traditionally framed this period of Khmer history as one of decentralization and decline due to the absence of new temples found at Angkor Thom after 1295 CE, I seek to disprove this theory through the analysis of how Buddhist Terraces aided in the incorporation of older religious infrastructure into the Theravada landscape through the social memory of ritual space.