Lost medieval city older than Angkor Wat found in Cambodia

Angkor Wat | Medieval ArchivesA lost medieval city that thrived on a mist-shrouded Cambodian mountain 1,200 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists using revolutionary airborne laser technology, a report said Saturday.

In what it called a world exclusive, the Sydney Morning Herald said the city, Mahendraparvata, included temples hidden by jungle for centuries, many of which have not been looted.

A journalist and photographer from the newspaper accompanied the “Indiana Jones-style” expedition, led by a French-born archaeologist, through landmine-strewn jungle in the Siem Reap region where Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu temple complex in the world, is located.

The expedition used an instrument called Lidar — light detection and ranging data — which was strapped to a helicopter that criss-crossed a mountain north of Angkor Wat for seven days, providing data that matched years of ground research by archaeologists.

It effectively peeled away the jungle canopy using billions of laser pulses, allowing archaeologists to see structures that were in perfect squares, completing a map of the city which years of painstaking ground research had been unable to achieve, the report said.

Angkor Wat was at one time the largest pre-industrial city in the world, and is considered one of the ancient wonders of the world.

It was constructed from the early to mid-1100s by King Suryavarman II at the height of the Khmer Empire’s political and military power.

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