Cambodia: The Rise and Fall of Angkor with Charles Higham

Cambodia: The Rise and Fall of Angkor with Charles Higham


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How did the mighty civilization of Angkor in Cambodia come to be, and why did it collapse? This seminar will explore the impact of climate change on the rise and fall of the Khmer Empire.

There are two fundamentals to life in Southeast Asia: the arrival of monsoon rains and the importance of securing a predictable rice harvest. New research has shown that a period of weakened monsoon led to an agricultural crisis in the late prehistoric period (about 200AD). Motivated by decreased rice yields, this ingenious ancient society developed systems of reservoirs and irrigation to counter the lower rainfall. However, the unintended consequence of these technological advancements was a steep rise in social inequality and the rise to power of the God-Kings of the Kingdom of Angkor. During their peak, they built the epic complex known as Angkor Wat, unrivaled in its scale and grandeur. But, after six centuries of prosperity, a second climatic change brought catastrophe and the system collapsed.

Led by an expert on ancient Angkor, Charles Higham, this interactive seminar will discuss the intersection of climate with the rise of civilization. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the relationship between human genius and climatic unpredictability.

Charles Higham is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is an archaeologist with a particular interest in the origins of Southeast Asian civilizations. His excavations in Thailand and Cambodia have greatly increased our understanding of how the great Kingdom of Angkor began, how God-Kings were revered, and with a climatic deterioration, how it came to an end.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 29 reviews
93%
(27)
7%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A. (Fort Worth, US)

Excellent history of the area and the 'Rise & Fall' of one of the most interesting and iconic sites in the world

J
J. (Arlington, US)
Insightful overview of Angkor civilization

Professor Higham distilled his decades of archaeology experience in Cambodia to provide an historical perspective on Angkor. You'll learn how the Angkor civilization arose, flourished and then declined. Whether you have already visited or are planning to visit, you'll learn how there is so much more to Angkor than Angkor Wat. If you have any interest in Angkor, this is a must-do Context conversation.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Angkor Wat

Mr charles Higham is the most wonderful educator in your seminars! His lecture was one that answered all my questions about that fantastic temple and ancient culture and why cultures disappear, - climate change! I will sign up for ALL his lectures from this day on!!

K
K.M. (McLean, US)
Angkor Uncovered

Dr. Higham is probably the foremost authority in the world on Angkor and environs; it's an honor to hear his observations on both the founding and the demise of the city. His presentation was excellent, and I'm eager to sign up for more of his talks.

P
P.R. (Québec, CA)
A clear understanding

A brilliant and supported by evidence talk about Angkor Wat

Customer Reviews

Based on 29 reviews
93%
(27)
7%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A. (Fort Worth, US)

Excellent history of the area and the 'Rise & Fall' of one of the most interesting and iconic sites in the world

J
J. (Arlington, US)
Insightful overview of Angkor civilization

Professor Higham distilled his decades of archaeology experience in Cambodia to provide an historical perspective on Angkor. You'll learn how the Angkor civilization arose, flourished and then declined. Whether you have already visited or are planning to visit, you'll learn how there is so much more to Angkor than Angkor Wat. If you have any interest in Angkor, this is a must-do Context conversation.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Angkor Wat

Mr charles Higham is the most wonderful educator in your seminars! His lecture was one that answered all my questions about that fantastic temple and ancient culture and why cultures disappear, - climate change! I will sign up for ALL his lectures from this day on!!

K
K.M. (McLean, US)
Angkor Uncovered

Dr. Higham is probably the foremost authority in the world on Angkor and environs; it's an honor to hear his observations on both the founding and the demise of the city. His presentation was excellent, and I'm eager to sign up for more of his talks.

P
P.R. (Québec, CA)
A clear understanding

A brilliant and supported by evidence talk about Angkor Wat