Delusions and Grandeur

December, Monday 22nd, 2003
You are cordially invited to attend the following informal presentation:

Delusions and Grandeur – A Comparison of Khmer Rouge and Ancient Large-Scale Land and Water Management Techniques

Jeffrey Himel
Independent Researcher

Both the Khmer Rouge and the Pre-Angkor and Angkorian Kingdoms used large-scale manual labour to mould the land and control water in order to gain more crop production to sustain and extend their regimes. Ironically, the techniques applied by the Khmer Rouge less than three decades ago were primitive and counter-productive, particularly in comparison to the elegant and sophisticated methods developed by the Ancients over one thousand years ago. Soil and water management were essentially the fundamental economic basis for both regimes yet what was done and its impacts on the societies have been misunderstood and are still not properly emphasized in contemporary scholarship. This presentation discusses the works of both eras, their impacts, and draws useful lessons from the experiences that could be applied in research and in modern development of Cambodia.

Jeffrey Himel is an Engineer who has worked in irrigation and drainage, hydrology, rural development, environmental assessment and geomatics in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China since 1989. He hopes one day to complete his Masters thesis for an M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Cornell University. His research is based on comparing the works of the Khmer Rouge and those of the ancient period of Sambor Prei Kuk and environs in Kampong Thom Province.

The presentation will take place on December, Monday 22nd,
at 6:30 pm at the EFEO center.

Presentation will be in English

Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) Siem Reap
Phum Beng Don Pa, Khum Slâ Kram
Tel: (885) (16) 635 037 / (63) 964 630 Tel/Fax: (855) (63) 964 226
Email: /
EFEO Web Site:

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