The house of the local people in ancient Khmer was more or less similar to those found today in villages of modern Cambodian architecture. It was elevated about two and a half meters above the ground with the wooden ladder and was built by wooden piles which supported the floor, the walls and the roof. The wall was made up of either the straws or the bamboo with the roof covered with the thatched leaves of dry coconut palms.
The Features of Cambodian Architecture
The architecture of the dignitaries’ houses and the palaces was somewhat different from those of the laymen, and differed in sizes, layouts and dimensions. The materials used to built the house consisted of stronger wooden planks, generally made up of teak wood, and the roof was covered with tiles for the inner rooms and with thatched leaves for the outer corners. These differences clearly identified the classes of the people by which the laymen were not even dare to put up a single tile on their roof.
According to Hinduism, the gods reside in the five sacred mountains with central Mount Meru and these mountains are surrounded by the cosmic ocean. The structure of the Khmer temples mostly symbolizes the heavenly residence of the gods with five towers, called Prasats. The central dominant tower or Prasat represents the Mount Meru with four smaller ones, each at its corners, to represent the other four sacred mountains of the heaven. In some temples, there are galleries connecting the towers. The moat surrounding the temple symbolizes the cosmic ocean.