Temples of the Angkor Complex in Cambodia

May 31, 2012

Advanced~Susanne Strickland~Angkor Thom

Photographer: Sue Strickland
Summary Author: Sue Strickland

The temples of the Angkor complex, near the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, were abandoned and left to decay for nearly 500 years after the fall of the Khmer empire in the 15th century. The indigenous jungle plants of Cambodia quickly began to invade and destroy the structures. When efforts to conserve and restore the temples of Angkor began in the early 20th century, archeologists decided to leave one temple, Ta Prohm, largely as it had been found except for clearing a path for visitors and strengthening the buildings to prevent further deterioration. The spung trees (Tetrameles nudiflora) growing out of the ruins and the dense jungle surroundings make it possible for visitors today to experience Ta Prohm very much as the early explorers did when they first came upon the temples of Angkor, in the middle of the 19th century.
Ta Prohm is one of the largest and most picturesque temples in the Angkor complex. Constructed as a Buddhist monastery, from the mid-12th to early 13th century, the temple was home to more than 12,500 people (including high priests, officials, assistants and dancers), all of whom were supported by a population of nearly 80,000 people who worked in nearby villages to provide food and supplies. Ta Prohm was also the headquarters of a vast hospital network, providing supplies for over 100 hospitals located throughout the Khmer empire.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi; Focal Length: 17.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.020 s (1/50); ISO equiv: 400; Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: Adobe RGB (1998); Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 Windows.