SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Dr Peter D. Sharrock

BA (Cantab), MA (SOAS), PhD (SOAS)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Peter Sharrock
Department of History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Senior Teaching Fellow

Centre of Jaina Studies

Member, Centre of Jaina Studies

Centre of Buddhist Studies


SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

Academic Staff, Centre of South East Asian Studies

The Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme

Communications and Outreach Manager, Programme Board Member, Scholarships Sub-board Member, Outreach Sub-Board Member

Dr Peter D. Sharrock
Email address:
020 7898 4462
020 7898 4699
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic 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).


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Available for
Regional Expertise
  • South East Asia
Country Expertise
  • Cambodia


Authored Books

Sharrock, Peter (2015) Banteay Chhmar: garrison-temple of the Khmer empire. Bangkok: River Books.


Sharrock, Peter (2011) 'Berlin’s 1182-86 CE Bodhisattva ‘Sunlight’ or ‘Moonlight’'. Indo-Asiatische Zeitschrift, (15), pp 31-40.

Book Chapters

Sharrock, Peter (2011) 'The Naga-enthroned Buddha of Angkor. Appendix'. In: Bunker, Emma C. and Latchford, Douglas, (eds.), Khmer Bronzes: New Interpretations of the Past. Chicago: Art Media Resources, pp 481-491.


This list was last generated on Thursday, 11th August 2022, 03:00 Europe/London.