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Service Geographique: Carte Archaeologique de la Region d'Angkor

Map: SEAS4872
Cartographer: Service Geographique
Title: Carte Archaeologique de la Region d'Angkor
Date: 1939
Published: N/A
Width: 34 inches / 87 cm
Height: 22 inches / 56 cm
Map ref: SEAS4872
Vintage archaeological map of the incredible Angkor region temple complex in Cambodia, the largest religious monument in the world and a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. .

This comprehensive map presented at a scale of 1:40,000 kms, centres of the town of Siem Reap in northern Cambodia, known as the gateway to the temples. It extends to show the regions’ intricate network of ancient temples including Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, the West and East Baray reservoirs (also known as Baray Teuk Thla and Yashodharatataka respectively), and the surrounding remains of pagoda bases, nondescript stone structures, settlements, straw huts, the sophisticated waterway systems, reservoirs and the paddy fields.

Despite being the centre of the flourishing Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th Centuries, the Angkor region had been abandoned by the mid-15th / early-16th Century, left to be engulfed by vegetation and eroding in the elements. The remains of the jungle-covered city and surrounding temples had been largely kept intact by Theravada Buddhist monks, as it acted as one of the most important pilgrimage sites in South East Asia.

During the French colonisation of Cambodia in 1863, the area became of growing academic interest with increasing numbers of European and American scholars coming to ‘discover’ what was considered the “lost city of Cambodia” - despite the local people knowing it was there.

In the late-19th Century, a group of French archaeologists started researching and conserving the complex, carrying out painstaking reconstruction programmes to explore, study and partially restore the vast network of ancient temples, reservoirs, and canals.

Established in 1907, the independent group of French archaeologists and academic researchers fell under the control of the government-sponsored École Française d’Extrême Orient, or the ‘É. F. E. O.’ who established the Conservation d'Angkor [the Angkor Conservancy] and a programme to oversee all research efforts and findings (this programme ran into the 1970’s). The É. F. E. O., founded in 1900, was an associate University college of the Paris Sciences et Lettres University, and among its dedicated fields of research were archaeology, philology and Asian culture.

This map was published by É. F. E. O. in June of 1939, with cartography from the French Air Force and their Geographical section. It includes a detailed legend in the lower left corner of the map indicating land usage, settlements, waterways, and temple remains. The key also describes some of the materials used for construction of the roads, housing, and religious structures.

Printed colour. [SEAS4872] [SL]