As I am not finished reading the book, this review will be broken up into segments. I breezed through the second chapter, “Southeast Asia in 2000 BC”, which presents the results of decades of research into the early hunter-gatherers of the region. It seems impossible to separate the development of an Asian society from rice cultivation, but the early residents of the region were largely fisherman who only much later began growing rice. Using bivalve shells to cut the rice, mind you.
My primary interest in the Angkor region is the once mighty Khmer empire. Of course the historian in me sees the value in looking at the process leading up to the Khmer empire as well as its later decline and collapse.