The Indian royal temple, which dominated Southeast Asian culture, typically stood on a terraced plinth, upon which towered shrines could multiply.
About AD 800 the Cambodian king Jayavarman II built a brick mountain for a temple group.
At present, peoples of Austronesian origin occupy Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
There were three main Austroasiatic groups, the Mon, the Khmer, and the Viet-Muong.
The region can be subdivided into mainland Southeast Asia and insular Southeast Asia.
The political units contained in this region are Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Among Southeast Asia's most impressive sites is the city of Pagan in Burma, with many brick and stucco Buddhist temples and stupas built 1056–1287.
A second tradition emerged after Indian artists and artisans followed traders to Southeast Asia in the first centuries AD.
Changes often came to Southeast Asia, usually because it possessed a commodity that was in great demand by the rest of the world.
The Indians came because they were looking for fresh sources of gold after the Roman imperial source had run dry.
Dance techniques of the region minimize the mudras (gestures) of Indian classicism to emphasize grace of movement over theme.
Regional variations of temple and court dance vie with local developments.