In the temples of Angkor, the walls tell stories: Here there be tales of enemies routed, paisley dances of victory, and demonic faces foretelling doom. Or something like that.
My above interpretations of the history, lore, and architecture of ancient Angkor stem from a thorough reading of the Lonely Planet Guide to Angkor Wat, which I completed while riding the bus to Siem Reap, between my viewings of the movies Titanic and Men in Black 3. I hope you learned something!
For more information about what these bas-reliefs reveal about the Angkor empire’s ups and downs, you’ll have to check with actual scholars. All I can offer you from here on out are more over-processed iPhone photos with cheeky captions.
See also the requisite Angkor Wat sunset pic.