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Re: [Precolumbian_Inscriptions] angkor wat

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  • mike
    note the roof construction, i think called corbelled ceilings
    Message 1 of 32 , May 8, 2004
         note the roof construction, i think called corbelled ceilings
    • mike white
      angkor is one of the most fascinating places in the world. i studied it before my trip there in 2004, but answering questions about the culture made me look
      Message 32 of 32 , Nov 18, 2014
           angkor is one of the most fascinating places in the world.  i studied it before my trip there in 2004, but answering questions about the culture made me look deeper. 
           siem reap is the modern city near the ruins of angkor wat.  the ruins are north of tonle sap lake.  this lake appears to be spring fed.  a stream from it joins the mekong river at phnom penh, the present capitol.  from google earth there looks to have had many manmade canals. 
           some of the old buildings were small, like a specific repository.  the ornate doors have icons on the lintels, that may be a sign for the contents.  im unsure if some have ever been entered in our time. 
           there are many huge water reservoirs, many still have water in them.  one measures about 5 miles long, by 1.3 miles wide.  the whole landscape was contoured.  it has a temple at its center. 
           old siam is said to have sayam as its source, meaning brown race. 
           one terrace had a platform that may have had a row of huge stone carved elephants, one remains.  another terrace had carved bas relief elephants. 
           many structures retain red paint.  it must have been awesome to see when new, and painted.  
           in time sunlight can add a patina on cut stone, like desert varnish.  it can be a few thousand years old.  i suspect that in tens of thousands of years, the stone begins to decay into something else.  at angkor we see the thick black patina on inner roofed walls with murals, like the air had eaten away at it. 
           i plan to return to angkor wat and environs.  this time i will hire a tuktuk driver for all day.  it will allow me to rest between sites, so that i can see more.  have them take me shopping or to the pubs later.  i hope to devote at least 4-7 days there. 
           not sure, but its like, each ruler built a mausoleum, maybe with a moat, and tomb, with his face depicted above.  where there are several different faces, it might be tombs of a dynasty.  some showing a woman between two male faces, perhaps the mother of two rulers. 
           they certainly did not need that many temples in one area.  i dont see the hindu trinity or buddha portrayed.  the bas reliefs depict the brown rulers dominating black slaves.  i dont think this was true in khmer times.  instead of religious icons, they show battle scenes, victories of rulers. 
           the common beliefs about angkor wat could be entirely wrong.  each ruler highlights the victories and greatness of his reign.  i dont think that it was a temple complex dedicated to the gods. 
           the culture must have taken over a thousand years to arrive at the maturity of artwork shown.  it was that old before these buildings were erected.  as if it arrived on the scene fully developed, from somewhere else, with an army of very skilled artisans.  i havent found similar styles and architecture in india or malaysia.  some things were shared, as if from the same mother-culture, but each was unique.  the tall portals of bali are missing at angkor.  the huge faces on towers are not seen at the other sites. 
           for transport, those at angkor used boats, horses, chariots, and elephants.  chariots require roads, and have limited use in a jungle.  the climate may have been different then.  based on the many huge water reservoirs, it was probably more arid. 
           where are the relics and pottery for that huge population?  it appears to remain mostly unexplored and excavated in modern times.  i saw no museum.  yet, our lads are smug and content with their theories.  pictures were used by these ancients, they could have used hieroglyphs.   some of the bas reliefs and faces had the patina washed away, leaving smooth white stone.  one expert said sandstone was used, but i havent seen sandstone that white. 
           the carved blocks were joined by iron clamps, mindful of puma punku in bolivia.  they did not have the arch, roofs were corbelled, in the earliest fashion, like at copan. 
            it sure looks like hieroglyphs to the left of the face, stacked vertically. 
        Angkor Thom South Gate
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