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Photo of Hendrickson, Mitch

Mitch Hendrickson, PhD

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Director, Industries of Angkor Project; Co-Director, Two Buddhist Towers Project; Co-Director, Iron and Angkor Project

Anthropology, Archaeology

Pronouns: He/Him/His


Building & Room:

BSB 2138C


1007 W. Harrison Street

Office Phone:

(312) 413-3586

CV Download:



I am a landscape archaeologist interested in the dynamics of networks, premodern state expansion and religion. My work on the Angkorian Khmer Empire in modern day Cambodia is focussed on the complex interaction between networks and technologies using a range of multi-scalar data sets. Over the past decade, my Industries of Angkor Project has sought to address what role regional centers played in the rise of medieval states through an intensive study of iron technology and economy. The collaboration with Dr. Stéphanie Leroy and numerous international specialists is aimed at generating a holistic, multiscalar approach to answer the question of whether access to iron acted as a catalyst in Angkor's major expansions between the 11thand 13thcenturies. My second project, The Two Buddhist Towers, also includes a range of leading international scholars focussed on documenting evidence of the transition from Mahayana to Theravada Buddhism at the site of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay in Preah Vihear province. In addition to the problem of viewing religious change in the material record we are also evaluating shifts in urban settlement patterns and craft production at what was the largest regional center built by the Angkorian Khmer. In February 2019 I will begin working on a pilot study to evaluate the role of iron on the expansion of the Bagan Empire, Myanmar, which was one of Angkor's main political rivals.

In October (2018), Dr. Hendrickson was featured on the Southeast Asia Crossroads Podcast. where he shared some new insights into the Angkor civilization.

Selected Grants

National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration, Investigating the role of strategic resources in the rise and fall of the Kingdom of Bagan 9th -14th c. AD, Myanmar, Partner Investigator with Kalayar Myat Myat Htwe, Pira Venunan, Bob Hudson, T. Oliver Pryce, Stéphanie Leroy. 2019

National Science Foundation, Senior Research Grant (1550850) for Industries of Angkor Project: The Role of Resource Control in the Rise of Social Complexity, Principal Investigator with Stéphanie Leroy, Lisa Tauxe, Cristina Castillo, Quan Hua and Phon Kaseka. 2016-2020

L’Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), Iron and the Angkorian Empire: an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to evaluate the role of ferrous metallurgy in the expansion of the Angkorian Khmer Empire, Cambodia (9th to 15th c. CE), Co-Principal Investigator with Stéphanie Leroy. 2014-2018

Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation/ACLS Collaborative Research Grants in Buddhist Studies, The Two Buddhist Towers: A multi-scalar evaluation of the practice, change, and function of Buddhism at the regional Angkorian center of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay, Cambodia (10th to 17th c. CE)’, Co-Principle Investigator with Christian Fischer and Dominique Soutif, Julia Estève and Cristina Castillo. 2014-2016

Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant, Industries of Angkor Project: Material Production and the Decline of the Khmer Empire (11th to 15th centuries CE), Principal Investigator with Christophe Pottier, Hans Leisen, Duncan Cooke, and Quan Hua. 2009-2011

Selected Publications


2023  Hendrickson, Mitch, Miriam T. Stark and Damian Evans, eds. The Angkorian World. Routledge World Series, Routledge Press, New York.

Journal Articles

2023 Hendrickson, Mitch, Ea Darith, Chhay Rachna, Phon Kaseka, Stéphanie Leroy, Tabata Yukitsugu, Brice Vincent. Crafting with Fire: Stoneware and Iron Pyrotechnologies in the Angkorian World. In The Angkorian World, edited by Mitch Hendrickson, Miriam Stark and Damian Evans. Routledge World Series, Routledge Press, New York, pp. 385-400.

Hendrickson, Mitch, Eileen Lustig and Siyonn Sophearith. ‘Of Cattle and Kings’: Bovines in the Angkorian World. In The Angkorian World, edited by Mitch Hendrickson, Miriam Stark and Damian Evans. Routledge World Series, Routledge Press, New York, pp. 459-478.

Lowman, Ian, Chhom Kunthea and Mitch Hendrickson. An Angkor Nation? The Core of Khmer Empire. In The Angkorian World, edited by Mitch Hendrickson, Miriam Stark and Damian Evans. Routledge World Series, Routledge Press, New York, pp. 479-493.

2021  Shuhui Cai, Rashida Doctor, Lisa Tauxe, Mitch Hendrickson, Quan Hua, Stéphanie Leroy and Kaseka Phon. Archaeomagnetic results from Cambodia in Southeast Asia: Evidence for possible low-latitude flux expulsion. PNAS 118(11)

2020  Hendrickson, Mitch and Stéphanie Leroy. Sparks and Needles: Seeking catalysts of state expansion through technological interaction at Angkor, Cambodia (9th to 13th centuries CE). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 57 (March). doi:

2019  Hendrickson, Mitch, Stéphanie Leroy, Cristina Castillo, Quan Hua, Enrique Vega and Phon Kaseka. Forging Empire: Angkorian iron production, community and religious practice at Tonle Bak, Cambodia. Antiquity 93(372):1586-1606.

2017   Hendrickson, Mitch. Transportation and the anomaly of road systems in historic Mainland Southeast Asia. In Handbook of East and Southeast Asian Archaeology, edited by Junko Habu, Peter Lape, and John Olsen. Springer Press: New York, pp. 533-546.

Hendrickson, Mitch, Stéphanie Leroy, Quan Hua, Phon Kaseka and Voeun Vuthy. Smelting in the Shadow of the Iron Mountain: Preliminary Field Investigation of the Industrial Landscape around Phnom Dek, Cambodia (Ninth to Twentieth Centuries A.D.). Asian Perspectives 56(1):55-91.

Notable Honors

2014, Silver Circle Award for Teaching Excellence, University of Illinois at Chicago


2003-2007 - PhD Archaeology, University of Sydney, Australia

1997-2001 - Master of Arts Archaeology, University of Calgary, Canada

1990-1995 - Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Archaeology, University of Calgary, Canada

Professional Memberships

Archaeological Institute of America

Society for American Archaeology

Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association

Selected Presentations

2022       The Two Buddhist Towers: Understanding the Development of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay (Bakan). Mitch Hendrickson, Christian Fischer, Julia Estève, Dominque Soutif, Phon Kaseka, Cristina Castillo, Quan Hua, & Damian Evans. Invited talk at the 30th Anniversary of the Re-Opening of the EFEO Centre (Siem Reap). Online December 12, 2022.

Living on the ‘Edge’ of Empire: A Scalar Comparison of Angkorian Settlement Patterns at Preah Khan of Kompong Svay and the Phnom Dek metallurgical landscape (11th to 13th c. CE). Mitch Hendrickson, Cristina Castillo, Dominique Soutif, Phon Kaseka, Julia Estève and Damian Evans. 22nd Congress of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Chiang Mai, Thailand. November 12, 2022.

2021       Iron and the Second City: Technological interaction, smelting communities and religion in the expansions of Angkor, Cambodia (9th to 13th centuries C.E.). Invited talk in the President’s Plenary Session the Archaeological Institute of America. Chicago, IL. Online. January 8, 2021.

Research Currently in Progress

Industries of Angkor Project, 2009-present

Iron and Angkor Project, 2014-present

The Two Towers Project, 2014-present