Jayavarman VII

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Scope note
Refers to the period of the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1220 CE) over the Angkor empire. It is marked by the triumphant expulsion of the Chams invaders from Angkor. The period witnessed exceptional building activity and city fortification honoring the omnipotence and centralized authority of the king and the institution of Mahayana Buddhism as the state religion. Style of architecture of the period is associated with colossal temple-mountains situated in the center of the capital Angkor Thom. Temples built in this period increasingly demonstrated sheer size rather than the subtle proportions of previous temple styles. The period also saw the first occurrence of "face-towers" in temple architecture, large stelae superstructures turned in the cardinal directions and decorated with large faces on each side that symbolize the supremacy of the bodhisattva Lokeshvara and of the king. Sculptural styles of the period reflecte religious unity, grandeur, and exuberance through the emphasis on exaggerated symbolism.
Jayavarman VII
Accepted term: 22-Jul-2024