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An opinion on issues for future investigation of the water management of Greater Angkor

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Abstract The urban complex of Greater Angkor, the capital of the Khmer state from the 9th to the 14th–15th century CE, was a vast, convoluted settlement of rice fields, residential structures, shrines, roadways and water systems. Because the urban landscape was repeatedly remodeled on a massive scale the settlement plan is a complicated palimpsest of additions and remodeling that drastically altered earlier settlement configurations and water management features. Consequently, older settlements and structures in Greater Angkor are either buried or altered by later construction. The purpose of this paper is to offer an opinion about key issues which might be pursued or assessed concerning the development of water management in Angkor. The paper is about opinions because the physical evidence that is currently observable on and in the ground is partial, much is obscured and some is scarcely accessible. Further vigorous inquiry into water network of Greater Angkor is crucial for local cultural history and has serious, global implications for the vulnerability of very large, low‐density urban settlements which are confronted by extreme climate instability. This article is categorized under: Human Water > Water as Imagined and Represented Human Water > Water Governance
The Proto Baray of Ak Yum. Google Earth. Note: north at the top of image. Source Maxar Technologies (2020)
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Central Angkor LIDAR. Note: north at the top of image. Image from KALC (2012)
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The proposed overflow channel at Bam Penh Reach. Note: north at the top of image. Courtesy of the CALI (2015)
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Human Water > Water Governance
Human Water > Water as Imagined and Represented

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