From Quarries to Temples: Stone Procurement, Materiality and Spirituality in the Angkorian World

Christian Fischer, Federico Carò, Martin Polkinghorne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Angkor’s stone material culture has survived the effects of time and constitutes an essential corpus of evidence whose study holds the key to a better understanding of the ancient Cambodian culture. Amongst the diversity of rocks available, three main types of sandstone with specific properties and belonging to different geological formations were selectively chosen by Angkor’s rulers, engineers, and artisans for the construction of temples and the carving of architectural elements, inscribed stelae, and sacred sculptures. Based on a multidisciplinary approach, multi-scale analysis, and a large array of scientific data, this chapter presents our current knowledge about the typology and characteristics of these sandstones and their procurement and usage across space and time during the Angkor Period. The results and interpretations shed new light on the complex interconnections between materiality, technology, economy, power, artistry, and spirituality and highlight how sandstone contributed to the development and prosperity of the Khmer Empire.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Angkorian World
EditorsMitch Hendrickson, Miriam T. Stark, Damian Evans
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon; New York, NY
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781351128940
ISBN (Print)9780815355953, 9781032439266
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Worlds


  • Cambodian Archaeology
  • Khmer Empire
  • Stone Procurement


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