Angkor exists to glorify women?

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… at least, that’s what researcher Kent Davis wants you to believe. The Phnom Penh Post features his work in surveying and quantifying all the images of women (conventionally known as Apsaras, but he calls it Devatas) to determine if there’s something more to the images. His theory is that because of the thousands of Apsara images that adorn the walls of the temples, Angkor was built to glorify women. Does it sounds like a Da-vinci-code-sacred-feminine flavour transposed onto the Southeast Asian context to you? Me too. Of course, we should just ignore the architecture, the royal inscriptions and historical accounts that suggest that buildings of Angkor were temples to Khmer gods.

Apsaras.Bas-reliefs
photo credit: Gusjer

The mysterious women of Angkor
Phnom Penh Post, 12 February 2009
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