The Pre-Angkor Period
To be fully aware of the impact that the history of Cambodia has on the country to this day, it is important to look into the past and to look beyond the famous Angkor empire. Though the empire certainly helped shape the country and what it would become, Cambodia's roots go even deeper. Consider the Cambodia history prior to the Angkor empire and see what kind of impact it had.
Perhaps the first incarnation of what would someday be Cambodia was the kingdom of Funan. This kingdom left very little information behind, but it is very clear that it was a powerful trading state.
In the course of performing archaeological digs, goods from India, China and Rome were all discovered in the city. The kingdom itself was thought to have been established in the first century CE, and its foundations were located on the Mekong Delta, a place which today is controlled by Vietnam.
Funan may have been a unified country but there is also evidence that it might have been a collection of city states, which warred with each other as well as with outsiders.
Though records of this early part of
Cambodian history are spotty, it seems that the kingdom of Funan
most of Southeast Asia. It was during the third century that the
kingdom of Funan would see its greatest expansion, when the fleet was
expanded and the system of bureaucracy was improved, creating a feudal
system that would keep growing for quite some time. The culture of the
kingdom seemed to be a mix of native traditions as well as Indian
Folllowing the kingdom of Funan in Cambodia's history was the kingdom of Chenla, called Zhenla by the Chinese and Chan Lap by the Vietnamese. It began as vassal state to the kingdom of Funan during the sixth century and it would eventually go on to declare independence before conquering and absorbing the older country. It is thought that the concurrent collapse of the Roman Empire might have weakened the older state until such a conquest, which took place over sixty years, possible.
Isanapura was the first capital of the new empire and Chenla would go on to be divided in norther and southern states. It was the Khmer Kingdom of Bhavapura which would have the most cultural impact on this empire, which would go on to birth the great Angkor empire.
The Kingdom of Chenla would
until the seventh century, and the troubles that arose from that date
would lead to the kingdom breaking up by the start of the eight
century. Rather than being one unified whole, the kingdom would then
become several warring principalities. According to Chinese records,
which are the most complete from that time, they became into a Chenla
of the land and a Chenla of the water.
So in short...Cambodia history is something that has many layers, all connected with the ones that came before and the ones that come after. Learn more about ancient Cambodia history and you will see what an impact it continues to have. Both the ancient kingdoms of Funan and Chenla would go on to strongly influence the great Angkor Empire, which lasted a full six hundred years.
Where would you like to go next?Back to top
Angkor Wat History - A Brief Overview
Want to know a little bit of Angkor Wat history? Here is a condensed form of it, including the most important facts about the Kings and the temples.
History of Angkor Wat - A Quick Chronological Version
Looking for a quick history of the Angkor Wat temples? Here you'll see a chronological version. Come prepared knowing a little bit of the history of Angkor Wat, or those temples will just be meaningless piles of rubbles!
The locals are a big fan of karaoke. But apart from the pop songs, there are other kinds too. The classical Cambodian music is deeply valued by the people.
In downtown Siem Reap, you'll see restaurants offering free traditional dance with your meal. Here's you'll find out more about those dances and other kinds as well.
Go from Cambodia History to About Cambodia
Return from Cambodia History to Holiday In Angkor Wat (homepage)