June 16, 2019
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Airborne laser technology revealed an underground city beneath Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat. Images show a network of roads and canals linking the temple complex.

A paper from the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences announced the discovery Monday.

Unearthing a Lost City

ankor watThese previously undocumented planned landscapes are that of the ancient lost city of Mahendraparvata. The Phnom Kulen Mountain in Siem Reap concealed the cityintegrating the 1,200-year-old temples of Angkor Wat, hidden under the dense foliage and thick earth.

Damian Evans, an archaeologist from Sydney, is the study’s lead author. During an interview, he said that instead of the usually long and gradual process of discovering things, there is an immediate picture of an entire city people have never heard of before.

The researchers have a theory that the lost city and its civilization crumbled because of broken canals and reservoirs, as well as from deforestation in the area.

A Useful Archaeological Tool

Scientists used LIDAR technology to digitally reveal what was underneath the area. The technology works by firing lasers from an aircraft to the ground. It then measures the distance, creating a three-dimensional map.

The same technology has been used for other sites like the Stonehenge in England and Fort Beausejour in Canada.

Terohan Nula