1. What do you know about Cambodia? Have the class share what they know or would like to know about Cambodia and the Khmer Empire.

2. The Khmer Empire was a major medieval empire in South-East Asia, centred in what is now modern Cambodia. Using an atlas or internet map service, locate Cambodia and locate the cities of:

  • Angkor
  • Hariharalya
  • Tonlé Sap
  • Phnom Penh

How close are they to other states and territories? What geographic advantages or disadvantages do these cities have? Are there any common features?

3. The Khmer Empire spanned the period between 802 and 1431. What events were happening in other parts of the world at this time? Using a blank map of the world, show events happening across the globe in this period. You could use images to represent the event(s) in different countries; they could be grouped according to type, such as wars, buildings, cultural achievements, political events, etc.

4. The Khmer Empire used a form of writing called Sanskrit. It is the principal language of Hinduism and Buddhism. The names of many Khmer rulers have similar Sanskrit roots or parts; for example, Jayavarman, Isnavarman, Indravarman, Jayavirahvarman — the -varman ending coming from the noun meaning ‘protection, shelter’. Research a list of kings and find similar name parts and find their meaning. Why might kings all share similar names?