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The Sdok Kok Thom Inscription & The Enigma of Khmer History”

Raffles Hotel Le Royal celebrates iconic Literature from celebrated former guests and visitors to Cambodia.
Available for purchase at Le Phnom Shop at and all good book shops.

“STORIES IN STONE: The Sdok Kok Thom Inscription & The Enigma of Khmer History”
The founding of an empire, the settling of frontier lands, a king’s gifting of gold pitchers and black-eared stallions to a Brahmin priest – these and other remarkable stories come down to us in the Sdok Kok Thom Inscription, one of the world’s most important ancient testaments. Recovered at a ruined temple in Thailand close to the Cambodian border, the 340-line chronicle unlocks the early history of the Khmer Empire. Yet temple and text have remained little known outside expert circles.

In this full and highly readable account, former Washington Post correspondent John Burgess traces the impact of the great inscription, which was carved onto a sandstone monolith around 1052 AD, abandoned to the wild for centuries, then decoded by French colonialists. He relates the temple’s surprise emergence in 1979 as a haven for Cambodian refugees and resistance fighters during the war in their homeland.

Today Sdok Kok Thom is again at peace, its mission of preserving history accomplished. (passage from back cover)

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