IJCH 2015 Vol.1(1): 63-66 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2015.1.1.011

A Reassessment of the Decline of the Khmer Empire

Lawrence G. Gundersen
Abstract—This research surveys and adds to the numerous modern reasons given for the decline of the Khmer Empire after Jayavarman VII. The work highlights new evidence indicating that severe climate change directly affected the Khmer Empire after 1200, and examines how the biological factors and impact of disease related to this climate change would have been critical in undermining and degrading the Khmer population. Using primary sources and inferential evidence on disease, the intent of the study is to build on the established and generally accepted assumptions for the collapse of the Khmer Empire, including to explain that localized, severe, and long-term climate fluctuations were a problem for the Khmer, and, most importantly, to show that climate change, as it encouraged and was related to epidemics and diseases, is what significantly attrited the Angkorian population.

Index Terms—Climate change, disease, environment, Jayavarman VII, Khmer Empire.

Lawrence G. Gundersen is with the Univ. of Tennessee, Martin/Jackson State Community College, USA (e-mail: lggundersen@hotmail.com).

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Cite: Lawrence G. Gundersen, "A Reassessment of the Decline of the Khmer Empire," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 63-66, 2015.

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