Temple material building

Angkor site is worldwide renowned for its sophisticated architecture and its current state of monuments. One of Angkor lover´s dream is to see the whole site in its full form, but it seems challenging even with the reconstitution plan because components as well as its particular use within the monument construction are still in discussion between the scholars.

Following this circuit will allow you to learn that the Khmers temples were mainly built using material such as sandstone, laterite, brick as well as wood and stucco. Metal was also present in the masonry work to join adjacent stones together. Each object had its own value and quality in term of construction.

Laterite is red clay, rich in iron, resulting from the decomposition of sandstone and conglomerates. Exposed to the sun rays, it dries up and becomes as hard as stone. The Khmers used it mainly to build the temple structure such as foundations, enclosure walls, pavers in laterite. Its porosity facilitated the drainage of rain water.

Brick was an important material used by the Khmers from the ancient time to the beginning of Angkor period for construction of temples, enclosure walls, platform, base of foundation and monasteries construction.

Sandstone is a natural stone made of rounded to polygonal sand grains (quartz) of rock fragments (clast) and particles of former existing stones.
From the 6th to the end of the 8th century, sandstone blocks had been less used than bricks and mainly for door frames, colonnettes, false doors, and lintel structure for the brick shrines. But, later on, starting from the 9th century, the whole structures of temples were erected by sandstone blocks within fulfilled of carving and figures decoration on stone surfaces.

Royal Palace was made of wood but nothing remains of it. Wood was mainly used for doors, ceilings, pavilions or galleries but over centuries, humidity, fire and termites destroyed most of wooden structures.

We propose a one day visit at Roluos temples group where you can see and understand, during the visit, the using of each material directly in the temple structure.

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