Angkor, the City That is a Temple
This chapter is an overview of the ruins of Angkor and their historical and cultural significance. Adding to the discussion is Cambodia's position as the center of conservation practice in Southeast Asia. From the time of their “discovery” by French explorers in the mid-nineteenth century, the ruins at Angkor figured prominently in the ambitions of the French in Southeast Asia. Long the domain of French historians and conservators, Cambodia has become over the past twenty years a veritable hive of international conservation activity—a site of experimentation, a place to consider new techniques in engineering, stone cleaning, and repair, and a setting in which to experiment in new ways of protecting the surrounding environment.
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