Cambodia History

Cambodia is located in South Asia surrounded by Thailand on North West, Vietnam on South East and South China Sea and gulf of Thailand on other sides. History of Cambodia is worth of reading any number of times as it will make you feel the important facts about Cambodian life history. Also it will be very interesting to know the empires that ruled Cambodian region in earlier periods and what activities were carried out especially in all those empires. It has been found that people were living in Cambodia since 4200 B.C.E [Before the Common Era]. This piece of information was obtained from the date testing process carried out using carbon 14. The carbon 14 test was carried out on a cave named the Laang Spean located at the North West of Cambodia. This place has got evidences that people used to make pots here in this cave and hid there for their shelter.

Apart from this some other archaeological survey and testing concluded that Cambodia was occupied with people around 1000 – 2000 B.C.E. People at that time were found to follow the Neolithic culture. Also when some of the human skulls and bones were tested for date from the Samrong Sen it was found that they existed during 1500 B.C.E. Also it has been believed that people move to Cambodia from south east china. Even some of the research scholars say that some of them may be from India also. Cambodians were found to be the first one in cultivating rice and also making bronze items when you compare with other South Asian peoples and their history.

Communicating well with other and living in societies in CE:
It was during the CE first century where the people of the country started to live a stabilized life by living in a well organized group or societies. In addition they also were able to communicate with others using languages which were very much relevant to the present century Khmer or the Cambodian. The way people started to live in the first century in the Common Era was far ahead than the primitive people in their primitive stage. During this period people were found to live mostly on the banks of rivers or along the river valleys. They found this place very much suitable for their cultivation of rice and also for growing their domestic animals. Advanced people of high levels were found in these areas of cultivation land.

Developing Cambodia during first century:
The land of Cambodia was enriched with wealth and people began to exploit all their resources for their developmental programs. Even now research work is going on about Cambodian history and recent study’s and date findings convey that the first occupant of South East Asia were the Khmer People and also they were the ones who first started to learn and implement the religious and the political activities from other countries, especially from India. They also started dividing Cambodia into small kingdoms ruled by kings which were surrounded on all sides by huge territories. Every kingdom was ruled by kings and depending on the kingdom and their life style followed in each kingdom, the growth of Cambodia was found out. Let us now have a brief look at the various kingdoms and their lifestyles.

Cambodian kingdoms:

The Funan Empire:

The Funan Empire was the first and the foremost kingdom that was evolved in Cambodia. They had a complete control over the city of Oc Eo, present Vietnam, called as the Kattigara in the Roman Empire which means the Renowned City. The Funan Kingdom was completely following the culture and art of India particularly from the Bengal. They also followed the alphabetical systems, number systems, religious activities and other architectural activities from India. The Funan Era was calculated to be from 68 to 550 A.D. The Funan Empire was succeeded by the Chenla.

The Chenla Era:

Chenla Era started from 550 A.D to 802 A.D after defeating the Funan Empire. Vassals of the Funan called as the Khmers finally ended up in the Mekong River moving through the Mun River Valley right from Menam River from North. Because of the Funanese sway, the chenla state was developed which was their first independent state.

The crucial Khmer Era:

After the Chenal era, Cambodia was totally under the control of the Khmer king and people. They almost were responsible for the development of the Cambodian states. Their period was from 802 to 1431 A. D. It was during this period where the name Cambodia actually evolved. Cambodia is also called as Kampuchea. The Kambuja kingdom was responsible for all this revolution. The entire Cambodia was controlled from the capital region of Angkor located in Cambodia west. Finally the Angkor Thom was captured by the Thai which led to flee of the Cambodian king to the south of the country.

The dark age of Cambodia:

Before the capture of the capital by Thai, Cambodia was comfortable in making trade with other Asian countries. This resulted in the economic rise of the Cambodian country. But later, after Cambodian capital conquered by the Thai, Cambodia found a series of decline one after the other. There were many territorial losses during this period. The Dark Age was from 1618 to 1863.

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Under French control:

King Norodom of Cambodia decided to sign a safety agreement with the French government, which made the French to take over the entire control of Cambodia. The French had control over Cambodia during 1863 to 1953. It was during World War II where Cambodia was found to be in deep trouble. Finally after fighting for their independence, Sihanouk was declared independence. Then modern administration started in Sihanouk.

Final stages in their development:

After this we had the Sihanouk administration from 1955 to 1970. Then finally the Khmer Republic started along with war, called as the civil war. Then after the war the Democratic Kampuchea emerged and lasted from 1975 to 1979. After that the People’s Republic of Kampuchea was implemented in Cambodia from a time period of 1979 to 1993. At last the modern Cambodia began to run successfully from 1993 till now.

phnom penh5Balint Földesi