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The origins of Siem Reap date back 802 AD. At this time and up until the 1400s, a tribe known as the Khmer or Agkor people lived in the area.
Although there is not extensive information about the people from this tribe, it is known that they had a working irrigation system and that they had a written language; evidence of this is seen still today on stone. Aside from these early and advanced forms of civilization, they also were master architects. Their temples, the Angkor Wats, stand proud today and are a fine testament to their highly refined stone carving skills. The stone they used to construct the temples was, for the most part from volcanic stone.
They also had a system of kings for their government and they were deeply religous. Evidence of important rituals is one of the major facts attributable to them. Their classe system was not a fair one either, as slaves existed.
Things took a major change for Siem Reap however when, in the 1847, Cambodia was colonized by France. This did not last long at all however, and Cambodia was overtaken by communist Viet Minh troups from Northern Vietnam in the mid 1950s. By the mid 70s it was under the rule of Khmer Rouge's murderous leader Pol Pot, until Vietnam came in once again and took over in 1978.Currently Cambodia isn't the most stable of nations but has overcome much adversity in the past. The much-loved King Sihanouk abdicated in favour of his son Sihamony in Oct 2004. Although he is head of state, it is the senate that has the real power.