Sundial, calendar and Khmer temples

Astro-archaeology = archaeo-astronomy = Astroarchaeology = archaeoastronomy

Prasat Muang Tam

10258'57'' east, 1429'46 north


I: General information
Page I: General information about the ancient Saivite Khmer sanctuary Prasat Muang Tam
Page II: Information with relevance for astro-archaeology (coming)
  Above: Muang Tam 2004   Above: Muang Tam 1992  

Location: Buriram province in NE-Thailand. Both Prasat Muang Tam and Prasat Phanom Rung are well signed and easy to find. The other minor sites are not.

Explanation to the GPS-generated map (right):
TPR-AV: Prasat Phanom Rung.
M--TAM: Prasat Muang Tam.
N-KONG: Prasat Nong Kong (dharmasala or 'rest-house').
BU-000: Prasat Ban Bu (dharmasala or 'rest-house').
NBRAI: Kuti Rishi Nong Boa Lai (arokayasan or 'hospital)
B-KHOK: Kuti Rishi Ban Khok Muang (arokayasan or 'hospital).
PLAI02: Prasat Plaibat II.
PLAIBT: Prasat Plaibat I.
ANGKHAN: Khao Phra Angkhan.
KAOTOM: Prasat Kao Dum

Above (left): Plan of Prasat Muang Tam

Above (right): Prasat Muang Tam is located south of a large baray (reservoir) Talae Muang Tam.
GUARD1: Ancient Khmer guard house now demolished.
BR1M: Remnants of an old wooden bridge and also laterite foundation of an ancient bridge.
The 'ancient road' leading north to Prasat Phanom Rung is not existing anymore.

Above: Aerial photo (PointAsia)

The orientation of Prasat Muang Tam shares the same solar-lunar concept at the nearby Prasat Phanom Rung and the construction as well as the associated baray has embedded astronomical concepts. This will be dealt with in a later paper.

Prasat Muang Tam is based on comparative art-history dated to the 11th century. The art-styles are Khleang (968–1049 / Jayavarman V, Udayadityavarman I Jayaviravarman and Suryavarman I) and Baphoun (1050–1080 / Udayadityavarman II and Harsahavarman III).


Above: NW-corner of the moats surrounding the five brick towers.   Above: Eastern gopura in the inner enclosure seen from east
Above: The north-eastern 'library' (bannalai) and the southern tower of the first row to the left.   Above: The ruined central tower and the northern tower of the first row to the right.
Above: Lintel found at the central tower. Now at Phimai Museum.
Above: Pediment from the porch of the central tower depicting Indra his a 3-headed Airavata. Now at Phimai museum, but a good replica is on show at Muang Tam.
Right, left and below: Northern tower, first row

A brick tower on a laterite base with a lintel above the east-facing door depicting Uma Mahesvara: Shiva and his consort Uma riding on the bull Nandin.

Krishna fighting the serpent Kalya:


Above (left and right): Pilasters on show at Phimai Museum
Above (mid): In situ pilaster showing a 2-legged creature transforming into a spiralled flower pattern.
  Above: Simha (lion) on top of Kala and wrestling two elephants  



14 June 2006 Asger Mollerup



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