Kasper HANUS1,2 / Emilia SMAGUR1
(1Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland / 2Department of Archaeology, the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Keywords: settlement patterns, Cambodia, Southeast Asia, moated settlements
Prehistory of Cambodia is overshadowed by impressive heritage of medieval Khmer Empire and its splendid capital of Angkor. However prehistory and early history of this part of continental South-east Asia is equally interesting, thus we devoted our research towards understanding settlement patterns of this region. Almost half century of the civil war resulted in relatively obscured knowledge about the archaeological landscape beyond the Greater Angkor. To change this state of affairs we have decided to propose research project based on spaceborne prospection of four provinces of NW Cambodia. This region is especially important, as the sites of eastern Cambodia and NE Thailand were under elaboration of scientists from UK, New Zealand and USA in 80’s and 90’s, however the gap between them (Tonle Sap basin) was never properly surveyed.
Our paper will discuss the research routines that we adopted for identification of the moated sites. Excavating a moat was a complex and labour-demanding task that required certain level of social organisation. That makes, in our opinion, moated sites special in the settlement hierarchy. As the earthworks are still visible in the landscape it is possible to identify the changes in the topography on the satellite images. Beside presenting the procedures of site-identification, we shall also present our interpretation of the sites and its hinterland. The innovation of our project is the first holistic attempt to reconstruct archaeological landscape of Tonle Sap basin, as well as recognize pre- and early historic sites for better protection and management of the heritage in NW Cambodia.