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Archaeology & History

Multiple hidden cities found near Angkor Wat

By T.K. Randall
June 13, 2016 · Comment icon 13 comments

Angkor Wat was once at the center of a huge empire. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Sam Garza
Ancient ruins that have lain hidden beneath the ground for centuries have been discovered in Cambodia.
After scanning more than 734 square miles using lasers in what is being hailed as the most extensive airborne archaeological study ever undertaken, researchers have announced the discovery of several large, long-forgotten cities hidden beneath the forest floor.

According to Australian archaeologist Dr Damian Evans, the cities date back up to 1,400 years and some of them were so large that they would have even rivalled the country's capital, Phnom Penh.

The data suggests that these remarkable, densely populated cities would have made this the single largest empire on the planet at its peak during the 12th century.
"We have entire cities discovered beneath the forest that no one knew were there," said Evans.

The find not only cements the archaeological significance of Angkor Wat but also demonstrates how effective laser scanning technology has become at opening up the secrets of the past.

"I have been to all the sites described and at a stroke, they spring into life … it is as if a bright light has been switched on to illuminate the previous dark veil that covered these great sites," said Charles Higham, a leading archaeologist of mainland south-east Asia.

"Personally, it is wonderful to be alive as these new discoveries are being made. Emotionally, I am stunned. Intellectually, I am stimulated."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by BadChadB33 8 years ago
Love to see what they find inside these cities.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Leto_loves_melange 8 years ago
Yes, me too. Knowing why they were abandoned and forgotten would also be interesting too. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Harte 8 years ago
Ancient Alien Theorists believe: The date given (1400 ybp) is missing a zero. Harte
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sundew 8 years ago
After experiencing the jungles of Cambodia, I can well believe much is hidden under their canopy. Giant Ficus and other strangler type trees are literally tearing stone buildings apart in an epic battle for nature to reclaim what man had taken. I would imagine that they will find mostly empty buildings with great stone Buddhas and Multi-headed Cobra gods much as the other temples have but perhaps a bit more primitive. Angkor Wat is sort of the pinnacle of their constructions as far as is known and is massive in scale.
Comment icon #8 Posted by pallidin 8 years ago
Very impressed with this imaging technology.
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin 8 years ago
From:   LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquir... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by universal skeptic 8 years ago
Intellectually stimulating indeed.
Comment icon #11 Posted by qxcontinuum 8 years ago
and this is proving just how relative our society is ... we can flourish to a peek then disappear. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
Good deion of how LIDAR can see through heavy jungle canopies
Comment icon #13 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
It's a bit surprising, if the empire was a big as theorized that we would not have heard rumors of it.

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