Early Connections : reflections on the canonical lineage of Southeast Asian temples
Datta, Sambit and Beynon, David 2011, Early Connections : reflections on the canonical lineage of Southeast Asian temples, in EAAC 2011 : South of East Asia : Re-addressing East Asian Architecture and Urbanism : Proceedings of the East Asian Architectural Culture International Conference, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore, Singapore, pp. 1-17.
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Temples were constructed across Southeast Asia following the spread of Brahmanic/Hindu culture between the fifth to eight centuries CE. Epigraphic evidence, architectural and stylistic similarities between temples in the region are strongly indicative of historic cross cultural links between the traditions. This paper presents the findings of a research project that pieces together fragments of evidence from early temple sites in Southeast Asia to establish the linkages between the Southeast Asian temple building traditions. The focus of the paper is on tracing the canonical connections between these traditions through an examination of temple sites in Cambodia and Java respectively. The legacy of this ancient diasporic movement remains celebrated today in the admiration of Southeast Asian monuments such as Angkor Wat and Prambanan. However this architecture evolved over time through a process of long experimentation with philosophies, world-views, and methods. . In order to permit a deeper examination of canonical connections, the authors use methods such as photogrammetry, digital and physical models to reconstruct the architectural forms. A detailed analysis of the canonical geometry and compositional form of these temples is undertaken with reference to Indic texts and temples. Comparing the relationships between cosmology, geometry and physical form in this earlier sites with both Indian and developed Southeast Asian models, it is intended that its generative role within Southeast Asian architectural historiography can be clarified and more fully celebrated.
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Field of Research
120103 Architectural History and Theory
Socio Economic Objective
950307 Conserving the Historic Environment
HERDC Research category
E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
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