Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia housed many universities during Angkor era




Cambodia housed many universities during Angkor era

The Ta Prohm temple in the Angkor Archeological Park was used for educational purposes during the Angkor era.
The Ta Prohm temple in the Angkor Archeological Park was used for educational purposes during the Angkor era. Moeun Nhean

Cambodia housed many universities during Angkor era

When thinking about the Angkor era, it is common for one to conjure up images of towering infrastructure structures, such as the temples of Angkor Wat. However, what is less knows is that the Khmer ancestors were also able to receive high levels of education during the Angkor Empire.

Dr. Chen Chanratana, head of the Khmer Heritage Foundation and also an archeology professor, said there were many established universities during the 9th to 12th centuries of the Angkor era.

“The universities included Ta Prohm University, Preah Khan University and Neak Poan University,” he said.

Chen Chanratana.
Chen Chanratana. Moeun Nhean

“During the [Angkor] era, there were even students from China as well. In the compound around Ta Prohm temple, there is the Preah Vihear temple and a university that taught literature, arts, philosophy and religion,” he added.

“With regards to skills in management and general knowledge, students went to a university in the Preah Khan temple.”

When it came to education during the Angkor era, Chanratana said knowledge was strong in many areas, especially when concerning urban planning, infrastructure, health and social welfare.

Dr. Hay Ly Eang, head of the general department at Phnom Penh-based pharmaceutical company PPM Pharma, said some present day medical treatments, while tweaked slightly, were adopted from the Khmer ancient medical doctors who practiced during the Empire’s rule.

The Ta Prohm temple in Tonle Bati.
The Ta Prohm temple in Tonle Bati. Moeun Nhean

“The doctors back during the Angkor era were very skillful,” he added.

Dr. Michelle Trane, an archaeologist and an expert in Khmer culture, said that at Ta Prohm temple “what we see is only the holy temple but it also contained a huge hospital hall which was used as a training ground for students.”​

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma