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March 24, 2012

Ta Keo

Ta Keo is a temple-mountain, in Angkor (Cambodia), possibly the first to be built entirely of sandstone by Khmers. Ta Keo can be found between Angkor Thom and East Mebon. Ta Keo means "ancestral tower" and Prasat Keo means "crystal tower". The construction of this temple began between 980 and 1013 during the reign of JayavarmanV and ended abruptly with the accession to the throne by his rival Suryavarman I. That is why its carvings are not completed. The incompleteness of decorations rendered it crude appearance, in contrast with the delicacy of the ornaments of other Angkor monuments.


Ta Keo was the state temple of Jayavarman V, son of Rajendravarman, who had built Pre Rup. Like Pre Rup, it has five sanctuary towers arranged in a quincunx, built on the uppermost level of five-tier pyramid consisting of overlapping terraces (a step pyramid), surrounded by moat, as a symbolic depiction of Mount Meru. Its particularly massive appearance is due to the absence of external decorations, as carving had just begun when the works stopped, besides an elaborate use of perspective effects. It is considered an example of the so-called Khleang style.

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