Department of Archaeology
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Capital city of the first Arakanese Kingdom, the site measures 7 by 6 km and contains some 200 Buddhist monuments (temples, stupas, monasteries, etc.) mostly built in the 15th and 16th centuries AD. Located at the junction of the deltaic plain and the Arakanese mountains, the site is an exceptional example of the cleaver use of natural features (hill ranges, waterways, marshes) for fortification. A network of rivers provides easy access to the sea. The religious monuments in various states of conservation and maintenance, have no equivalent in the region. the monuments, particularly several fortified temples, are mostly built in well dressed stone, including skillful vaulting over geometrically complex spaces. Impressive decoration includes outstanding examples of stone carving and sculpture. The Myauk-u kingdom had an important rôle in the history of trade and warfare in the Bay of Bengal, and was the seat of intense cultural and religious interaction between Buddhism and Islam through the Bengali sultanates, between Buddhism and Christianity through the Portuguese.