Wednesday 3rd of December 2003

You are cordially invited to attend the following informalpresentation:
Maya and Khmer:
studying monsoon forest civilisations
Prof. Michael D. Coe
Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, YaleUniversity
Michael D. Coe is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at YaleUniversity. Born
in New York in 1929, Michael D. Coe, anarchaeologist, is well recognized for
his superb work in the field ofthe ethnohistory of Mesoamerica, the historical
archaeology ofnortheastern United States, and writing systems. Michael D.
Coe hasauthored numerous world-renowned books on Mesoamerica
including”Breaking the Maya Code” (1992). This book constitutes an
informedaccount of one of the most exciting adventures of our age,
theextraordinary breakthrough in deciphering the inscribed remains ofMayan
monuments. Coe’s other works include “The Maya” (1966),”America’s First
Civilization: Discovering the Olmec” (1968), and”The True History of
Chocolate” (1996). A frequent traveller toSoutheast Asia since 1954, Michael
D. Coe is a specialist in thecomparative study of ancient, tropical forest
civilizations. Herecently published “Angkor and the Khmer Civilization”
(2003), a bookwhich presents a concise but complete picture of Khmer
culturalhistory from the Stone Age until the establishment of the
FrenchProtectorate in 1863.

Large low-density urban complexes were a feature of tropical regionsin the
Old and the New world through the first fifteen hundred yearsof the Common
Era. The similarities in the overall form and milieu of these settlements were
noted many years ago by Michael D. Coe (in 1955!). Recent imaging and on-
the-ground mapping at Angkor has shown two related settlement patterns. A
closely similar doublearticulation is also characteristic of Classic Maya regal-
ritualcenters like Tikal and Calakmul; in these, as at Angkor, there are
noclear-cut city boundaries or edges, but rather whole settledlandscapes
beyond the core areas. This is in strong contrast to suchdensely occupied,
economically heterogeneous, and highly planned cities as Teotihuacan and
Tenochtitlan in Mexico, medieval Cairo and imperial Beijing. Following
William Sanders and David Webster, it issuggested that the weak
urbanization of these two monsoon-forest civilizations was the result of low
population, lack of environmentaldiversity, poorly developed interregional
trade and relatively inefficient food production.

The presentation will take place Wednesday 3rd December at 6:30 pm atthe
EFEO center.

Presentation will be in English.

Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) Siem Reap
Phum Beng Don Pa, Khum Slâ Kram, Siem Reap, Cambodge

Tel: (885) (16) 635 037 / (63) 964 630 / 760 525 Tel/Fax: (855) (63)964 226

Email: /

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