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There were at least three major successive efforts by Thai kings to establish and distribute an “authentic” canon for the Buddha icons, which were their prime artistic concern.Each type that became canonical and was known to be magically effective was imitated repeatedly.It is likely that many other ancient monuments are encased in later stupas that are still being used for religious purposes, for it was probably customary not to destroy an old sacred monument but to encase it in a new shell, maybe several times over, and perhaps to construct a small external replica of the encased original alongside.
In the 11th century Dvaravati was captured by the Khmer of Cambodia and became a province of their empire.
The animist religion gave ground partially to Buddhism, which was gradually assimilated among the people, and at some date, as yet uncertain, was adopted by the greater Tai kings as a dynastic religion.
With the spread of Buddhism a special religious architecture in brick and stucco was established.
Sukhothai seems to have been the principal focus and source of Buddhist culture in Siam, for it retained direct touch with Sri Lanka, which, after the decline of Buddhism in India in the 12th century, became the principal home of Theravada Buddhism.
By the 15th century the difficult art of casting large-scale Buddha figures in bronze had been mastered in the north of Siam, as well as in the south.
Many terra-cotta and stucco fragments of decorative surface designs and celestial figures have also been found.