Iconographical Issues in the Archeology of Wat Phra Men, Nakhon Pathom

by Nicolas Revire

Publication: Journal of The Siam Society, Vol. 98, pp 75-116

Language : English

2010 - 41 pages

Wat Phra Men is one of the most important structures at Nakhon Pathom archeological site, in modern central Thailand. The author revisits its sculptures in order to better understand the evolution of Buddhism sects in the region during ancient times.

The Khmer influence on the renovation and restructuration of this temple-mandala is discussed in detail, the author noting that "[archaeologist Jean] Boisselier has discussed traces of later additions, or Khmer restorations, at Wat Phra Men, which he set in relation with the last stage (state III) of the monument. Of particular interest for Boisselier was the presence of an ogival step (“en accolade”) at each axial projection, hitherto unknown in the art of Dvāravatī but characteristic of Khmer architecture."

Nakhon Pathom (Thai นครปฐม) iS a city 57 km west of Bangkok, known from its giant Phra Pathom Chedi and home to Thailand's only Bhikkhuni temple, Wat Song Thammakanlayani (วัดทรงธรรมกัลยาณี), which is also open to women from abroad. Sanskrit inscriptions attest that Nakhon Pathom was the largest Dvaravati center in the region.

About the Author

Nicolas Revire

A specialist in Southeast Asian Buddhism, Early Art and Archaelogy studies, Nicolas Revire is a lecturer at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Thailand, and a guest lecturer at Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, Bangkok.

With a research focus on Buddhist iconography and Dvāravatī, Nicolas Revire has contributed several articles and reviews in the Journal of the Siam Society and other academic publications, and translated numerous scholarly publications from Thai and English into French.

He authored (with Stephen A. Murphy) Before Siam: Essays in Art and Archaeology (2014).