Nine researchers probe the mysteries of this extraordinary monument and its giant face towers built by King Jayavarman VII in the early 13th century. Bayon: New perspectives brings together for the first time leading scholars whose insights challenge, not always in consensus, many of the earlier interpretations of the Bayon's art, architecture and inscriptions.
Claude Jacques gives a close-up of Jayavarman's life and family. T.S. Maxwell looks at the Bayon 'short inscriptions' and the unique Buddhist-Hindu-ancestral religion of Jayavarman. Olivier Cunin uses new technology to chart the temple's architectural design changes. Peter Sharrock finds signs of Tantric Buddhism and suggest the Buddha Vajrasattva for the face towers. Anne-Valerie Schweyer uses the inscriptions of the neighbouring Chams to throw new light on the king's psychology and life, charted by Vittorio Roveda in the detailed political reliefs of the Bayon's outer gallery. Ang Choulean provides the present-day local folklore associated with the monument. Finally Hiram Woodward provides a masterly preface.