|The ruins of Angkor, covered by dense jungle, were
discovered by a French explorer in 1861. Still today though the ancient Kymers are to a
great extent a mystery. All contemporary information comes from one
Chinese historian. According to his account, the Kymers were
artistically advanced and pretty liberal. Women held prominant positions
in society. Their murals show scenes of wars but don't obsess over
torture like, say, the Aztecs. Most of the murals depict sensuous
dancing women, called absaras (see the picture), serene Buddhas,
and extraordinary gods and beasts. The women were said to be
voraciously horny. A young woman would undergo a deflowering ceremonies
performed by a priest with his fingers, after which the family would
taste the blood! Then she was free to wander unsupervised, and sex
before marriage was no problem.
Nobody knows how the Kymers pulled off their incredible feats of engineering. How in the hell did they dig out 2 huge rectangular lakes each measuring 1.7 by 7 kilometers? Let alone build the entire temple complex of Angkor Wat in a period of 30 years.