What Did You Do When You Returned From Angkor Wat?


What Did You Do When You Returned From Angkor Wat?

For those of you planning on visiting Angkor Wat, there may be more to the massive temple complex than you had originally expected. American researcher Kent Davis, after visiting the site back in 2005, was struck by the numerous (1,800 to be exact) female figures carved in various portions of the temples. After returning home, he vowed to learn more about who they were and what their significance in the Khmer Kingdom was. However, it turned out, no one had really looked into it. So, as this article explores, he took it upon himself to investigate.

“After turning to Michigan University computer experts for help, a team was able to conduct facial mapping experiments on digital photographs of the women, or devatas. The team, whose findings were presented last month at the International Conference on Pattern Recognition, an academic convocation in Istanbul, concluded there were at least eight different facial types, perhaps reflecting a variety of ethnicities in the Khmer kingdom.”

The coolest part? They plan to track down the living ancestors today after identifying the carved women. “Once we define facial types more thoroughly, [by] using facial pattern recognition on people living in this area . . . we could actually find the descendants of some of the sacred women in the temple.”

All right ladies, be prepared for some archeologists turning up at your door to reveal to you your royal lineage. You know, probably something you’re more than used to.


Published on September 15, 2010

  • http://lesliekochtravel.blogspot.com/2010/08/inspired-to-travel-by-eat-pray-love.html LeslieTravel

    Facial types determining ethnicity? This sounds a bit like old school, cranium-based 'racial' science. I'd love to check out the article and learn more about the methodology behind this. The link isn't working for me…

    • TheExpeditioner

      Whoops, fixed that link. Yeah, I think he's probably referring to race in the sense of regional ancestry from that time period more than anything else, but I see your point.