History of Cambodia

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Carbon 14 dating of a cave at Laang Spean in northwest Cambodia reveals people who made pots were living in Cambodia as early as 4200 BCE (Before the Common Era).[1] Further archaeological evidence indicates that other parts of the region now called Cambodia were inhabited from around 1000-2000 BCE by a Neolithic culture. Skulls and human bones found at Samrong Sen date from 1500 BCE.[1] These people may have migrated from South Eastern China to the Indochinese Peninsula, although some scholars maintain they may have come from India.[1] Scholars trace the first cultivation of rice and the first bronze making in Southeast Asia to these people.[1] By the 1st century CE, the inhabitants had developed relatively stable, organized societies and spoke languages very much related to the Cambodian or Khmer of the present day.[1] The culture and technical skills of these people of the 1st century in the CE far surpassed the primitive stage. The most advanced groups lived along the coast and in the lower Mekong River valley and delta regions in houses constructed on stilts where they cultivated rice, fished and kept domesticated animals. Recent research has unlocked the discovery of artificial circular earthworks dating to Cambodia's Neolithic era.1 The Khmer people were one of the first inhabitants of South East Asia. They were also among the first in South East Asia to adopt religious ideas and political institutions from India and to establish centralized kingdoms surrounding large territories. The earliest known kingdom in the area, Funan, flourished from around the first to the 6th century. This was succeeded by Chenla, which controlled large parts of modern Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

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