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Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle
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    Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    Archaeologists in Cambodia have found multiple, previously undocumented medieval cities not far from the ancient temple city of Angkor Wat, the Guardian can reveal, in groundbreaking discoveries that promise to upend key assumptions about south-east Asia’s history.

    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.

    Some experts believe that the recently analysed data – captured in 2015 during the most extensive airborne study ever undertaken by an archaeological project, covering 734 sq miles (1,901 sq km) – shows that the colossal, densely populated cities would have constituted the largest empire on earth at the time of its peak in the 12th century.

    Evans said: “We have entire cities discovered beneath the forest that no one knew were there – at Preah Khan of Kompong Svay and, it turns out, we uncovered only a part of Mahendraparvata on Phnom Kulen [in the 2012 survey] … this time we got the whole deal and it’s big, the size of Phnom Penh big.”

    A research fellow at Siem Reap’s École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) and the architect of the Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative (Cali), Evans will speak at the Royal Geographic Society in London about the findings on Monday.

    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.

    That survey uncovered an array of discoveries, including elaborate water systems that were built hundreds of years before historians believed the technology existed. The findings are expected to challenge theories on how the Khmer empire developed, dominated the region, and declined around the 15th century, and the role of climate change and water management in that process.

    “Our coverage of the post-Angkorian capitals also provides some fascinating new insights on the ‘collapse’ of Angkor,” Evans said. “There’s an idea that somehow the Thais invaded and everyone fled down south – that didn’t happen, there are no cities [revealed by the aerial survey] that they fled to. It calls into question the whole notion of an Angkorian collapse.”

    Read more and see maps and video here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...mbodian-jungle

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    Khun Don (12-06-16)

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    Re: Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    There was a fascinating BBC TV programme about 2 years ago-'Jungle Atlantis'- on the the use of Lidar that went into this at great length.

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    Susana (12-06-16)

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    Re: Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    We have discussed that previously Khun Don, so I downloaded it, and it was fascinating. There is a part 2 now I think.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x27...tripper_travel

    Freely available now.
    If it's not true, don't say it. If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not right, don't do it.

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    billyboy (14-06-16), Khun Don (13-06-16), Susana (12-06-16)

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    Re: Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    Quote Originally Posted by emu View Post
    We have discussed that previously Khun Don,
    I had completely forgotten that! Getting old-69 next week!

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    emu (13-06-16)

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    Re: Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    Remember, elderly is at least ten years ahead of whatever age we are.

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    Re: Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    Remember, elderly is at least ten years ahead of whatever age we are.
    Depends how we are feeling at the moment!

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