Category:Svay Rieng Province

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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

Unfortunately for Svay Rieng's provincial tourism authority, the great profusion of ancient sites in the province consists almost entirely of mound, small ruin and reservoir sites - a large number of which are also unconfirmed. No intact sites, or even significant-sized ruins, are present. A reasonable assumption would be that in ancient times, as today, the province housed a large rural population with no major urban settlements and that each of the numerous villages possessed its own small shrine and reservoir.

The prevalence of mound sites rather than ruins or standing structures may be indicative of the antiquity of the sites and indeed the few that can be accurately dated appear to correspond to the Funan or early Chenla periods. One of the rare relatively intact towers, Prasat Chea Hao, is considered to display slightly later, Prei Khmeng, features while Prasat Bassac, (probably the province's largest site) features un-dated brick towers.

Furthermore, in this small province - shaped something like a thick boomerang - the vast majority of sites lie in the southern section, (the so-called 'fishhook' region) surrounded on 3 sides by Vietnam. In the northern half of the province, listings are few and far between. (Prasat Chea Hao is one of the few sites situated in the northern part of the province.)

Neighbouring Prey Veng Province displays a similar distribution which, in so far as the terrain in northern and southern areas is similar, must have been determined by other factors. If they are mainly Funan-period sites then geographical proximity to the major population centres at that time could be an explanation. The 2 largest known Funan sites to date are Oc Eo, in today's Mekong Delta region and Takeo's Angkor Borei. The former - considered the main port and commercial centre - is situated some 70kms south of the present-day border while the presumed early capital of Angkor Borei is also situated some 70kms west of Svay Rieng. (Prey Veng's Ba Phnom is also often put forward as an important Funanese centre and is a mere 20kms west of the border of Svay Rieng.) Furthermore, substantial areas of Dong Thap and An Giang provinces south of the border may not yet have been drained at the time and were conceivably less conducive to agriculture than slightly higher (and drier) areas in Svay Rieng and Prey Veng.

Our, admittedly speculative, conclusion would be that during the Funan era Svay Rieng served as an agricultural hinterland, with a large rural population but no major population centres of its own, supplying the broader region's larger, more important, settlements.


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Pages in category "Svay Rieng Province"

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