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Cambodia lost cities: Vast Khmer empire discovered hidden under the jungle - TomoNews

By: TomoNews USPublished: 2 years ago

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SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA — A vast network of previously undocumented medieval cities has been discovered near Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple.

Researchers using LIDAR scanning technology found multiple cities beneath the jungle, the Guardian reported.

The cities had complex urban landscapes and were linked by roads and canals. They range from 900 to 1,400 years old and would have been part of the largest empire on earth in the 12th century.

LIDAR is a detection system similar to radar, which uses lasers instead of radio waves. It is used with GPS to produce 3D models and maps.

Last year, a helicopter mounted with LIDAR technology scanned a 734-square-mile area near Angkor Wat, according to the Guardian.

The data revealed the true scale of the lost city of Mahendraparvata, which was previously believed to be much smaller. In fact, Mahendraparvata was about the same size as Cambodia’s present capital Phnom Penh.

The scans show the ancient cities had sophisticated water management systems built hundred of years before it was believed the technology existed, the Guardian reported. Geometric shapes thought to be gardens were also discovered.

Historians told the Guardian the groundbreaking discovery would help us understand more about Angkorian civilization and the decline of the Khmer empire.
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