Post Angkor S

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Upon throwing off the Angkor yoke in the mid-13th-century, many existing Bayon-period structures at newly independent Sukhothai and neighbouring Si Satchanalai were converted into Theravada Buddhist sites, either by some judicious remodelling or the dismantling and rebuilding of sites. Jayavarman VII sites in the region were constructed in brick and laterite, due to a scarcity of sandstone and/or a lack of resources for a far-flung province, and so were easily dismantled and rebuilt to conform to Theravada rather than Mahayana preferences.

The main early Siamese cities were in the central lowlands - Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and later Ayuthaya - so there was presumably little motivation to mass convert older structures in remoter areas of what became northeastern Thailand, even as Angkor control declined. Sites at more important settlements such as modern-day Lopburi or Phimai did employ sandstone and retain much more of their original integrity. (They were also closer to the homeland and perhaps closer to quarries?)

Sites in this category are Sukhothai-style temples adapted from or constructed over the top of, earlier, mainly Bayon-period, Khmer sites. Building materials were recycled bricks and laterite and decoration largely stucco - due again to the lack of sandstone blocks to hand. Certain monuments were only slightly altered and the original structure can clearly be seen, such as the former arogyasala of Wat Chao Chan, while others are almost impossible to discern to the casual observer without archaeological conformation. (Local museums can provide excellent resources in this respect.)

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