Angkor Wattage: Bas Reliefs and Sculpture
I am a huge fan of bas reliefs (aka carvings on walls) and sculpture when I visit ancient ruins. To me there’s something so ephemeral and yet time-eternal about them. When I touch them, it feels as if I’m touching the hands of the crafters and artisans who carved them 1000 years ago. It’s the purest form of time travel: to touch the beauty created by someone belonging to history. I feel what they felt with my hands, I see what they saw with their eyes, it’s like I’m in on a secret that looks down the spectre of time and still holds true.
Here’s some of the best bad reliefs and sculptures I found at Angkor Wat and Bayon.
of course, it always tickles my soul when I find some awesome graffiti. This dude defaced the temple way back in 1890 with his name. Today this would be called vandalism and the man would be arrested for ruining an ancient relic. Well it was still an ancient relic in 1890 (the temple dates back to 961 CE), but no one would dare buff this graffiti off. It’s interesting to me how one mans vandalism is another mans treasure.
My treasure. Graffiti FTW!
More Angkor Wattage coming up!