Journal article

Phum Lovea: A moated precursor to the pura of Cambodia? Sociopolitical transformation from Iron Age settlements to early state society

Dougald O'Reilly, Louise Shewan



The understanding of Angkorian pre-state society has been greatly enhanced by an increase in archaeological investigation in recent years. From excavations conducted at Cambodian Iron Age sites we have evidence that attests to a transformative period characterised by increasing sociopolitical complexity, intensified inter- and trans-regional mercantile activity, differential access to resources, social conflict, technological transfer and developments in site morphology. Among the growing corpus of Iron Age sites excavated, Phum Lovea, on the periphery of Angkor, is uniquely placed to provide insight into increasing sociopolitical complexity in this area. The site is one of the few prehistor..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the participation of the people of Phum Lovea, Phum Sophy and Phum Snay, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia and the APSARA Authority and for their generous support and cooperation including H.E. Bun Narith, H.E. Ros Borath, Madame Mao Loa, and especially our close collaborators, H.E. Dr Tan Boun Suy, Dr Tin Tina, Mr An Sopheap, Mr Kim Samnang, Mr Im Sokrithy, Dr Ea Darith and Mr Chhay Rachana. Also to Mr Tho Thon and Mr Sieng Rosath both of whom made an invaluable contribution to this effort. We also thank the Australian Research Council for supporting the research through the Discovery Grants programme (DP110101997). Thanks also to our colleagues in the field, Mr Suy Pov and Tse Siang Lim and to all volunteers and students. Thanks also to the staff of the Robert Christie Research Centre, especially So Malay, for their support. We are also grateful to the anonymous peer reviewers, and Miriam Stark and Stephen Murphy for comments on earlier drafts. Unless otherwise indicated, all maps and images are copyright Dougald O'Reilly.