Category:Stung Treng Province

From Beyond Angkor
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Map Keys
Large Prasat
Large Prasats
Large Ruin
Large Ruins
Medium Prasat
Medium Prasats
Ancient Bridge
Ancient Bridges
Medium Ruin
Medium Ruins
Ancient City
Ancient Cities
Medium Tuol
Medium Tuols
Ancient Kiln
Ancient Kilns
Small Prasats
Ancient Quarry
Ancient Quarries
Small Ruin
Small Ruins
Ancient Reservoir
Ancient Reservoirs
Small Tuol
Small Tuols
Ancient Village
Ancient Villages
Other Structures
Other Structures
Prehistoric Sites
Neak Ta
Neak Ta's
Unknown Sites
Unconfirmed Sites

Although today a remote province, Stung Treng held a vital position in ancient times with the early city of Shrestapura situated north on the west bank of the Mekong - in the Lao Province of Champassak - and Sambhupura on the east bank in present-day Kratie Province to the south. The Mekong River splits the province into 2 and was clearly the main route for Bhavavarman's southwards expansion from the former site during the latter part of the 6th century.

Stung Treng holds a modest number of ancient sites but does include the extremely important early city of Thala Borivat, (listed as the Thala Borivat Group), located on the west bank a short distance north of the present-day provincial capital. This large settlement, close to the Lao border, represents the first important site in the king's southwards forays and includes a number of ruin and toul sites with several well-preserved lintels in the eponymously named style now displayed in Phnom Penh's National Museum of Cambodia. The vast majority of the province's sites are found within a short radius of Thala Borivat with a few additional sites, including the extensive ruins at Prasat Theat Ba Daeum, situated on the banks of the Srepok River to the east.

With the huge Khone Phapaeng Falls situated a short distance to the north, rendering the Mekong unviable as a transportation route, it can be assumed traffic into south Laos would have had to travel overland at least as far as the 4,000 Islands. Thala Borivat sits at the confluence with the Sekong River which is navigable into and beyond Attapeu Province to the northeast while a major tributary, the Tonle Srepok, heads east into Vietnam's Central Highlands. However, ancient sites on their banks are few and far between and a recent EFEO survey of the Sekong failed to identify any vestiges between Attapeu and Stung Treng.

Almost all sites date to the early Chenla period and the region appears to have held little importance in later times with even the famous 'Royal Road' to Wat Phu bypassing the site in favour of a western route through Preah Vihear.