Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half- Land and Water Battle in Ancient Times

This Week’s Photo Challenge encourages us to post a picture that has two clear halves.

I immediately thought back to one of the most impressive stone friezes I had seen at the Bayon Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The sculptors had creatively used different levels on the same wall to depict battle scenes taking place on land and water. The battle scenes depicted the fight between the Angkor Kingdom and the Chams (from Vietnam). Historically the kingdom was always vulnerable to attacks on water because of the Tonle Sap lake. In the frieze the Chams are distinguishable by their inverted lotus caps.

Battle Scene at Bayon- Half Land Half Water
Battle Scene at Bayon- Half Land Half Water

I cropped the image from a larger picture (the actual panel has about 4 levels) to show the battle happening on the water front (boats, fishes, oars) and the battle happening on land (trees, deer, archers). It is interesting to note that the sculptors did not use a hard separation- notice how the fishes tend to float near the trees.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Incredible to see the detail and read your highlights about this ancient stone frieze. What time period is this from?

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      This is approximately late 12th or early 13th century!

  2. Nirmala says:

    remarkable sculpture!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      It is isn’t it?

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