Voyage et séjour aux ruines des monuments kmers
by Auguste Achille Hyppolyte Filoz
"Picturesque account of the Aymonier-Delaporte mission to Angkor in the 1870s"
Language : French190 pages - Paperback Hachette/BNF/Gallica
A French Navy commander, Auguste Filoz was assigned to the "Expédition du Mékong" (Mekong Mission), which led him to follow archeologists Etienne Aymonier and Louis Delaporte to Angkor. His travelogue, written in a vivacious and often tongue-in-cheek tone, remains an important document for several reasons:
- a vivid account on the daily life and creeds of the Khmer people before the colonization era
- the work of pioneer French archeologists in Angkor, casting Angkorian bas-reliefs in plaster ("moulages en soufre", in French), and, at that stage, the limitations of Western knowldege about the scope of the Ancient Khmer civilization -- it was then believed that the Angkorian monuments had fallen in ruins before completion...
- the navigation hazards on the Tonle Sap Lake
- the direct witnessing of how Angkor was still a revered and sacred site then (with, for instance, the cremation ceremony honoring a respected monk right in Angkor Wat)
Note: Filoz's book is titled "Cambodge et Siam", since the Angkor area was then under the authority of the Kingdom of Siam.
About the author
Auguste Achille Hyppolyte Filoz
Auguste Filoz (1832-?) was a French Navy officer who took part in the famous "Mission du Mékong" (Mekong Mission) and became a member of the "Société des Orientalistes" (Orientalist Society) after his journey through South-East-Asia.