Angkor Wat is just one of a hundred or so monuments that remain scattered over an area of about 300 square kilometres in northern Cambodia - the religious remains of a series of cities, built by a succession of kings from around the 7th to the 13th centuries.
All civic and domestic buildings were built in timber and have long since disappeared, so not much is known about the lives of the civilians - though some 1,200 inscriptions found throughout the region and the remains of a vast irrigation system indicate the scale and complexity of the civilisation.
Water draining from the Kulen hills across the Angkor plain to the Tonle Sap lake provided the potential for tremendous rice production which in turn sustained an extraordinary culture.