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Thread: Lost city discovered in Cambodia

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    Lost city discovered in Cambodia

    Lost horizons: mediaeval city uncovered


    Archaeologists using revolutionary airborne laser technology have discovered a lost mediaeval city that thrived on a mist-shrouded Cambodian mountain 1200 years ago.

    The stunning discovery of the city, Mahendraparvata, includes temples hidden by jungle for centuries - temples that archaeologists believe have never been looted.

    An instrument called Lidar strapped to a helicopter which criss-crossed a mountain north of the Angkor Wat complex provided data that matched years of ground research by archaeologists. The research revealed the city that founded the Angkor Empire in 802AD.

    Archaeologists in the Siem Reap region using new maps acquired using LIDAR have discovered an entire Angkor city where previously only a few isolated temples were known to be.

    The University of Sydney's archaeology research centre in Cambodia brought the Lidar instrument to Cambodia and played a key role in the discovery that is set to revolutionise archaeology across the world.

    Archaeologists and exploration and mapping experts have uncovered more than two dozen previously unrecorded temples and evidence of ancient canals, dykes and roads using satellite navigation co-ordinates gathered from the instrument's data.

    Fairfax Media recorded the discovery of the first five temples after pushing through landmine-strewn jungle, swollen rivers and bogs with the expedition on a mountain called Phnom Kulen, 40 kilometres north of Angkor Wat in north-western Cambodia.

    Mahendraparvata existed 350 years before Angkor Wat, the Hindu temple that has captivated interest across the world and is visited by more than 2 million people each year.

    In effect the Lidar technology peeled away the jungle canopy using billions of laser pulses, allowing archaeologists to see for the first time structures that were in perfect squares, completing a map of the city which years of painstaking ground research had been unable to achieve.

    The archaeologists were amazed to see that 36 previously recorded ruins scattered across the mountain were linked by an intricate network of gridded roads, dykes, ponds and temples divided into regular city blocks.

    Damian Evans, director of the University of Sydney's centre in Cambodia, who was a co-leader of the expedition, said there might be important implications for today's society.

    "We see from the imagery that the landscape was completely devoid of vegetation," Dr Evans said. "One theory we are looking at is that the severe environmental impact of deforestation and the dependence on water management led to the demise of the civilisation perhaps it became too successful to the point of becoming unmanageable," he said.

    French-born archaeologist Jean-Baptiste Chevance, director of the Archaeology and Development Foundation in London, who was also a leader of the expedition, said it was known from ancient scriptures that a great warrior, Jayavarman II, had a mountain capital, "but we didn't know how all the dots fitted, exactly how it all came together.

    "We now know from the new data the city was for sure connected by roads, canals and dykes," he said.

    Over years Dr Chevance and his staff had crossed ancient roads and passed ancient structures they suspected were there but could not see because they were hidden by jungle and earth.

    The foundation's exploration and mapping expert, Stephane De Greef, has now confirmed the location of almost 30 previously unidentified temples using the Lidar data.

    The discovery, to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, will prompt scientific excavation of the most significant sites by archaeologists seeking to discover what life was like for a civilisation about which very little was known, including why it was abandoned to the forest.

    It will also allow archaeologists and historians to learn more about the evolution of Angkor, the enormous political and religious empire that dominated most of south-east Asia for 600 years.



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    Mediaeval? Are the Australians buggering about with our language like Americans now? Or is that a genuine alternative spelling?

    That article says that Angkor is a Hindu temple, I had never understood it to be anything but Buddhist; every day's a school day...

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    The Khmer ki...s were Hindu's,They modeled themselves after Rama,In Hindu mythology Rama is an incarnation Of Vishnu,( the preserver) and one of the three major deities Bramha( the creator) Shiva ( the destroyer)
    So Rama was both a ki...g in his time and a god.The Khmer ki...s that that was a great idea and styled them selves gods ki ..gs. The top shrine in Angkor is dedicated to Vishnu.Many of the temples around Angkor are dedicated to Shiva.

    This was all mixed in with their local deities and spirits.

    Some of this has overflowed into Thailand for names of k...s..... and major roads in Bangkok.

    Interesting this new find is 300 years older.Maybe this is where they lived while building Angkor?

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    Senior Member Loop's Avatar
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    I think Angkor Wat was originally Buddhist and then changed to Hindu and then back to Buddhist again during it`s history?

    There was an Indian team there working on it`s restoration when i was there.

    Looks like there was a thriving city there at the same time that Koh Ker was considered as the original Khmer capital.

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    Jesus, having been there but now reading this thread, I suddenly feel pretty damn ignorant about Angkor... hahaaa... seriously tho, good info here...

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    Aren't the carvings at Angkor of the Hindu Epics? Same with the Khmer ruins in Isaan, most originally dedicated to Shiva, the prangs (or towers) represent his mountainous home in India, the large pools the ocean surrounding it (or something like that).
    Last edited by bawdy; 16th June 2013 at 02:52.

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    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the order of Hindu funereal ritual, support this function.

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    Shiva, Brahma, Krishna (on his chariot) and Hanuman (the monkey god) from ruins around Surin and Buriram;
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    The carvings that run along the internal walkways are scenes from the Hindu epic the Ramayana.
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    When looking at the teams from Universities from around the world doing the renovations on Angkor and what a massive undertaking it is.
    Makes me relise with all our modern technology and resources we can only clean up and repair a small part of it.
    So to be able to actually build something like this 800 years ago is really impressive.

    It would be incredible to see the whole structure back to pure white.

    I wonder what and how long and how much it will take to uncover the new find.
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    The figure with all the arms in the Pic above is Shiva in the aspect of Nataraj the dancer,
    In Hindu Mythology Bramha creates the universe ( like the big bang theory) at the start of the cosmic day.( the day is 4,320,000,000 years long according to Wiki)
    It goes through various Yugas ( or ages) at the end of Kali Yuga ( where we are now) Nataraj dances through the universe packing it all up
    and entering the cosmic night.where it rests for one night then Brahma starts the day again.this cycle repeats for 100 Bramha years Or 40 Billion human years.

    For imagination it sure beats god created the world in 6 days about 12000 years ago

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yes View Post
    When looking at the teams from Universities from around the world doing the renovations on Angkor and what a massive undertaking it is.
    Makes me relise with all our modern technology and resources we can only clean up and repair a small part of it.
    Cleaning itself is an issue in archaeology as it can often be destructive. Tut-ank-amun's famous death mask is not as lustrous as the day they found it because someone wiped it with a rag to remove dust while in the Cairo museum, scratching its highly polished finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bawdy View Post
    Cleaning itself is an issue in archaeology as it can often be destructive. Tut-ank-amun's famous death mask is not as lustrous as the day they found it because someone wiped it with a rag to remove dust while in the Cairo museum, scratching its highly polished finish.
    And don't mention restauration like they did on Crete with the palace of Knossos.

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    It seems like the restoration would be delicate work..hard to use laborers on 200 Bhat a day ( or whatever)

    I think you are a bit of a Renaissance man Bawdy..a historian,archeology and immersed in the pleasures of the flesh 555

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    Mediaeval? Are the Australians buggering about with our language like Americans now? Or is that a genuine alternative spelling?
    Nope, it's just that the editors are shit in Australian media.

    I've seen them get the most basic words incorrect and published.

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