Le Cambodge, II Les provinces siamoises | The Siamese Provinces
by Etienne Aymonier
Publisher: Leroux, Paris | Vol II of 'Le Cambodge' par Etienne Aymonier, Directeur de l'Ecole Coloniale.
Language : French
In this detailed books, he asserts himself as a pioneer in the archaeological, architectural and historical fields, for instance with:
- the first identification of Ayuthia as "la ville des frontieres royales de l'ancien Cambodge" ["The Royal Border City"], "its Siamese name being the shortening of the Cambodian "Angkor reach sema", the latter itself a corruption of the Sanskrit Nagarajasema", "nowadays Old Korat and not the district capital founded by the Siamese."
- the first detailed description of the Sukhotai and Phimai sites, with this map of "Phimaie" for instance:
- the first attempt in deciphering and interpreting the Sdok Kak Thom ("The Lake of the Big Reeds") stele found in the Sisophon region, a major epigraphic discovery.
This book has been translated into English: Khmer heritage in the old Siamese provinces of Cambodia : with special emphasis on temples, inscriptions, and etymology (trans. by Walter E. J. Tips, Lotus Press, Bangkok, 1999, 302 p)
About the Author
Étienne François Aymonier (1844 –1929), French linguist and explorer, was the first archaeologist to systematically survey the ruins of the Khmer empire in today's Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and southern Vietnam. His principal work is "Le Cambodge", published in three volumes from 1900 to 1904.
First director of the École Coloniale, he assembled a large collection of Khmer sculpture later housed in the Guimet Museum, Paris. He is also the author of a dictionary of the Cham language.