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Cambodia > Culture and festivals > History


History of Cambodia 



Part 1: Pre-Angkor period 

Part 2: Angkor period 

-- What caused the Angkor Empire’s rise?

-- Why did the Angkor Civilization  fall?                            

-- The Angkor Kings (802 – 1000)

-- The Angkor Kings (1001 -1431)

Part 3: Post-Angkor period

-- Cambodia's struggle for survival, 1432-1887
-- The French colonial period, 1887-1953 
-- Modern Cambodia, 1954-

                                                                                              Apsara carvings, Angkor Wat 

Pre-Angkor period 

The Khmer people were among the first in Southeast Asia to adopt religious ideas and political institutions from India and to establish centralized kingdoms encompassing large territories. The earliest known kingdom in the area, Funan, flourished from around the first to the sixth century A.D. Funan was located on the lower reaches of the MekongRiver in the delta area.

By the fifth century, Funan controlled the
Lower Mekong River area and the lands around the Tonle Sap. Beginning in the early sixth century, civil wars and dynastic strife undermined Funan's stability, making it relatively easy prey to incursions by hostile neighbors.

By the end of the seventh century, a northern neighbor, the
kingdom of Chenla, had reduced Funan to a vassal state.
Chenla continued a three-century conquest of the region. At its height, the Chenla state included much of present-day Laos and Cambodia, as well as parts of Thailand and Vietnam. However, in the eighth century disputes in the court resulted in the kingdom being split into northern (Land Chenla) and southern (Water Chenla) halves.

Land Chenla was a relatively stable country. Water Chenla was not. After a number of battles, Water Chenla was taken over by a Khmer ruler from an area north of the Mekong Delta.
His assumption of the throne as Jayavarman II (ca. A.D. 802-50) marked the beginning of the golden age of Khmer civilization when the kingdom of Kambuja, which gave Kampuchea, or Cambodia, its name, ruled large territories from its capital in the region of Angkor in western Cambodia.

The Angkorian period lasted from the early ninth century to the early 15th century.


The Angkor Kings (802 – 1000) 

The Angkor Kings (1001 -1431) 

Post-Angkor Period 

Cambodia history homepage

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Cambodia history : The Angkor Period
The Angkor Kings
Cambodia history : Post-Angkor Period

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Cambodia History : Pre-Angkor period