Cambodia Ancient City in the deep of Southeast Asia jungle was discovered suing laser technology. It will be a world’s largest empire in 12th century and may have been the template for Angkor Wat.
Archaeologists in Cambodia have found multiple, previously undocumented medieval cities not far from the ancient temple city of Angkor Wat. The Australian archaeologist Dr Damian Evans, whose findings will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science on Monday, will announce that cutting-edge airborne laser scanning technology has revealed multiple cities between 900 and 1,400 years old beneath the tropical forest floor, some of which rival the size of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
Evans obtained European Research Council (ERC) funding for the project, based on the success of his first lidar (light detection and ranging) survey in Cambodia in 2012. That uncovered a complex urban landscape connecting medieval temple-cities, such as Beng Mealea and Koh Ker, to Angkor, and confirmed what archaeologists had long suspected, that there was a city beneath Mount Kulen. It was not until the results of the significantly larger 2015 survey were analysed that the size of the city was apparent.
The new cities were found by firing lasers to the ground from a helicopter to produce extremely detailed imagery of the Earth’s surface. Evans said the airborne laser scanners had also identified large numbers of mysterious geometric patterns formed from earthen embankments, which could have been gardens.
Dr Peter Sharrock, who is on the south-east Asian board at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, believed the discoveries would completely upend many assumptions about the Khmer empire.
Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site seen as one of the most important in southeast Asia, is considered one of the ancient wonders of the world. It was constructed from the early to mid 1100s by King Suryavarman II at the height of the Khmer Empire’s political and military power and was at one time the largest pre-industrial city in the world and at its height during the reign of Jayavarman VII (circa 1181-1220), regarded by scholars as the greatest king of the Khmer Empire. Jayavarman VII, who made Mahayana Buddhism the Khmer Empire’s state religion, grafted what are commonly believed to be his own features onto a serenely smiling Buddhist divinity. Its massive stone face beams in dozens of iterations throughout this complex, radiating compassion and kindness across the four corners of the empire. (Source: The Guardian/Smithsonian)