Angkor Wat: Residential Patterning and its Garden

Chhay Rachna1, Roland Fletcher2, Miriam T. Stark3, Alison K. Carter4, Heng Piphal3, Yijie Zhuang5, An Sopheap1, Srun Tech1, Tho Thon1

1APSARA National Authority, Cambodia

2University of Sydney, Australia

3University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, U.S.A.

4University of Oregon, U.S.A.

5University College London, United Kingdom

Angkor Wat has historical significance as one of the world’s largest premodern urban sites. Recent (2010-2015) archaeological field excavations in the enclosure, and an outer enclosure LiDAR survey by the Greater Angkor Project and APSARA National Authority offers new insights on the organization of the state temple. Fieldwork within the enclosure’s walls (and east of the moat) documented habitation areas, possibly for non-elite residents who supported the temple and its activities. A rectilinear coil structure that lies south of the Angkor Wat moat also contains long mounds, canals, and ponds that were likely associated with the use of the temple. Although the function of the enclosures are unknown, scholars have argued it may have been a royal garden. This presentation reports results from our 2014-2015 field excavations and surveys of the enclosures and offers new interpretations of their functions, modifications, and connections to the irrigation system of West Baray.