Kratie region in the time of ancient Khmer empires Funan and Chenla. The kingdom of Sambhupura.
(Sources: "The Ancient Khmer Empire", Lawrence Palmer Briggs, published in 1951)

Of the many Indianized kingdoms of Indo-China, Funan (first century to ca. 550) is probably the most ancient. Funan seems to have occupied the Mekong delta, the lower Mekong and the Tonle Sap. The today region of Kratie province was a part of Funan. The Funanese seem to have spoken a pre-Khmer Austro-Asiatic language.
The name Chenla first appeared in history when Chenla sent an embassy to China in 616 or 617. "It was originally a vassal of Funan … attacked Funan and subdued it" (Chinese writer Sui-shu 589-618 A.D.). The original site of Chenla seems to have been in southeastern Laos and early kings increased the territory towards the south (including the today Kratie region). At the beginning of the eighth century Chenla bordered Annam (Northern Vietnam) in the Northeast and the Tai Kingdom of Nan Chao (Yunan). Jayavarman I of Chenla (ca. 640/657 to ca. 681) seems to have reigned in the Banteay Prei Nokor-Ba (Vyadhapura) region. His death was followed by a period of internal strife.

Map-1.jpg (70313 bytes) Two new dynasties arose and disputed the supremacy with that of Vyadhapura. Nripatindravarman apparently revived the earlier kingdom of Aninditapura and controlled a western strip of the delta to the sea of Oc Eo (southern Vietnam), probably establishing his capital at Angkor Borei (Takeo), while the new dynasty of Sambhupura was building up a kingdom on the eastern bank of the Mekong river. This dynasty, with its early centers in the vicinity of the present Sambor and Kratie, seems to have broken off from Chenla during the reign of Jayavarman I. The name Sambhupura, which has been preserved in that of Sambor, seems to presume a founder named Sambhuvarmann - but there is no record of such a person. At any rate, this region assumed great prominence during two decades of the seventh and the beginning of the eighth centuries. Many inscriptions and monuments of this period are found there (as the Koh Kuk Krieng temple near present Sambor). The first ruler of Sambhupura mentioned in Chinese inscriptions is a female - presumed to have been the daughter of the supposititious Sambhuvarman. This daughter married Pushkaraksha, son of Nripatindravarman of Aninditapura, and he thus became king of Sambhupura.
After the middle of the eighth century Rajendravarman II, in whom was united the blood of the three great rival dynasties of Lower Chenla, reunited all Lower Chenla. He was generally accepted as King of Chenla. The capital was now probably Angkor Borei (Takeo) and inscriptions say that Rajendravarman II was also king of Sambhupura, seeming to indicate that it was not the principal capital. Jayavarman II (7??-850), reunited Upper and Lower Chenla at the beginning of the eighth century. Some scientists identify Jayavarman II with the dynasty of Sambhupura. At the end of 8 century Jayavarman II moved the capital to Hariharalaya (Roluos, Siem Reap) and then to Phnom Kulen mountain area (Siem Reap). The Khmer capital remained in this region until the beginning of Angkor (900) and the capture by Siamese in 1431.

Upper part of a temple entrance from Sambhupura (Historical Museum Kratie)