- Sun Tzu
Chenla Kingdom was a Khmer civilzation considered to a predecessor of the Khmer empire at Angkor. The Chenla state emerged around the 550A.D, at first as a subordinate of the Funan Kingdom. However, in a period of 60 yeras, Chenla gained independence and conquered the whole Funan, adhiering to the kingdom and absorving its people and its culture. One of the reasons put forward to explain the decline if the Funan civilization is the collapse of the Roman empire that brought the deterioration of the trade routes between the Meditarranean and China.
The peak of the Chenla kingdom was reached under King Ishavarman's reign, who conquered Funan during 612 and 628 and funded the capital called Ishanapura. After the death of king Jayavarman I in 681A.D the kingdom was shaked by internal unrest and in the 8th century rivalry split the kingdom in two parts: Upper Chenla, which consisted of souther Laos and the northern territories bordering Tonle Sap, and Lower Chenla (water Chenla) which consisted of the eastern territories of Tonle Sap and the coastal territores.
There is not enough archaeological evidence about the Chenla Kingdom and, as as with many other periods of Cambodian history, knowledge of this period is only supported by the accounts of chinese traders at the time.
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