A few additional interesting stories around the web:
-Not strictly Cambodia related, but several archaeologists have been testing the “bamboo hypothesis” (the idea that early humans in Southeast Asia were making tools out of bamboo which have become invisible in the archaeological record). From the article:
“The ‘bamboo hypothesis’ has been around for quite awhile, but was always represented simply, as if all bamboo species, and bamboo tool-making were equal,” says Eren, a doctoral candidate in anthropology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “Our research does not debunk the idea that prehistoric people could have made and used bamboo implements, but instead suggests that upon arriving in East and Southeast Asia they probably did not suddenly start churning out all of their tools on bamboo raw materials either.”
-I had never heard about the Tasik Chini legend until KI-Media posted a short article about it:
PEKAN: The existence of seven pyramid-like hills near Tasik Chini has again sparked interest in the legend of a lost civilisation in the area that could date back to the 12th century. While there is no proof that the hills are man-made, there is a possibility that it is part of a lost city or may at least shed some light on the mystery.
It is long believed that the ancient city could only be found in the depths of the lake. This is based on a theory that the area was inundated with water after the fall of the Khmer empire, of which the city was a part of in the 15th century.
A little internet-searching also turns up a legend about a dragon living in this same lake. This same website also dates the Khmer occupation of the site to the 5th century. The Funan-
empire polity is rumored* to have expanded into the Malay peninsula, although there is no archaeological research yet to convincingly show this is the case. Has anyone else heard about this legend? Feel free to leave a comment.
*That Wikipedia article on Funan has several factual errors, so take it with a grain of salt. Note-to-self: it would make good procrastination project to update it!
-Lastly, there looks to be a very interesting short conference on Gold in Southeast Asia at Yale University in May.