Dr Peter D. Sharrock
- Department of History of Art and Archaeology Senior Teaching Fellow Centre of Jaina Studies Member, Centre of Jaina Studies Centre of Buddhist Studies Member Academic Staff, Centre of South East Asian Studies Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme Communications and Outreach Manager, Programme Board Member, Scholarships Sub-board Member, Outreach Sub-Board Member
- Department of History of Art and Archaeology
- BA (Cantab), MA (SOAS), PhD (SOAS)
- Russell Square: College Buildings
- Email address
- Telephone number
- 020 7898 4462
- Support hours
- By email appointment
Peter Sharrock experienced the American war in Indochina for four years as the Reuters correspondent and discovered how, as the French said, Indochina ‘attaches to the skin’.
The war put the large Angkor temple complex out of reach and this was prolonged as Cambodia closed on itself and underwent the agony inflicted by Pol Pot. He finally reached Angkor in 1990, when landmines abounded and control of temples passed daily between the government and the Khmers Rouges.
His doctorate is on a new interpretation of the Buddhism and imperial politics of the greatest king of ancient Cambodia, Jayavarman VII.
He has developed a 'coherentist' approach to the history of Southeast Asia in which the very limited written sources – temple dedications inscribed in stone – are supplemented by trying to capture the religious and political messages embedded by kings in the decoration of state temples and in sacred icons and by monitoring the international flow of ideas across the states lying between the great centres of learning and technology in India and China.
History and art history of the Khmer empire of Angkor; the temple art and architecture of Southeast Asia from 400CE to 1400 CE; Buddhism and Hinduism and their impact on the formation and development of states in Southeast Asia; Sanskrit and local languages in the sacred epigraphy of Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Champa (Vietnam).