- Assistant Professor
- University of Illinois at Chicago
Angkorian Dharmasala Project: Research on Medieval Southeast Asian Transport Infrastructure
The Angkorian empire (ninth to fifteenth century) based in Cambodia, northeast Thailand, and southern Laos was part of a pan-regional trade and communication system that included the major states of South and East Asia. The history and function of the Angkorian road network that connected the Khmer to this system has been studied through text and architectural-based data. This project is directed at assessing the extent and chronology of settlement around ‘resthouse’ temples built along the road system through archaeological excavation. Absolute (carbon-14) and relative dating techniques based on ceramic analysis will examine the validity of long-standing historic data as well as provide information unobtainable from text-based sources (i.e., trade, daily life, function of the structure). The goal of this research is two-fold: 1) to show how transportation systems functioned in greater Asia during the Medieval period; and 2) to establish research connections between a Canadian university, Cambodian agencies, and the multiple international projects that are currently working in the greater Angkor region. Such cooperation will greatly increase the awareness of Cambodian history on a global level and also foster cooperation between different disciplines, organizations, and countries.
The Two Buddhist Towers: A Multi-Scalar Evaluation of the Practice, Change, and Function of Buddhism at the Regional Angkorian Center of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay, Cambodia (Tenth to Seventeenth C. Ce)
Buddhism is an integral part of Cambodia’s rich cultural past however we lack critical understanding of the religion’s practice, function, and transitions during the Angkorian and Middle periods (9th-18th c. CE) periods. Preah Khan of Kompong Svay, a singularly Buddhist site occupied from the 10th to 17th centuries and home to the Mahayana Preah Thkol and Theravadin Preah Chatomukh towers, represents a unique location to investigate such internal and external dynamics. Combining archaeological, epigraphic and material science this project seeks to conduct a rigorous, multi-scalar assessment of monastic lifeways through time and the intriguing state-level decision of Angkor’s traditionally Brahmanic kings to devote this regional center to Buddhism.