To have a proper appreciation of the return of the territory of Battambang and Angkor to Cambodia as a consequence of the treaty of March 23, 1907 between France and Siam, it is necessary to know something of the history of the ancient Khmer Empire or at least that of the peoples of the Mékong and Ménam valleys since the appearance of the so-called Tai people in the middle Ménam in the eartly part of the twelfth century.

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