Friday, October 18, 2019

Discover the 'lost city' of the old Khmer Empire

After years of hiding among dense forest canopies and unexploded ordnance, Mahendraparvata has been discovered by the scientists.

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According to CNN, researchers have just announced the discovery of the ancient "lost city" of Cambodia.

International scientists have used aerial laser scanning technology and ground surveys to create a map of the city of Mahendraparvata, or Mount Indra (meaning the king of the gods).
Angkor Wat, which replaced Mahendraparvata to become the capital of the ancient Khmer Empire. Photo: Telegraph.
Mahendraparvata was one of the first capitals of the ancient Khmer Empire. This empire existed from the 9th century to the 15th century AD.

Scientists hypothesize that the city of Mahendraparvata is located on the Phnom Kulen plateau, 48 km north of Siem Reap. We only know about this city through artifacts excavated in other areas and it is difficult to find evidence that the city exists here.

The Phnom Kulen Plateau is located in a remote, inaccessible place, covered with dense vegetation and likely to retain mines from the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.

Over decades of failure, Mahendraparvata has been dubbed the "lost city". Now scientists say they have pinpointed the city.

The researchers used aerial laser scanning that has "the ability to see through vegetation and provide high-resolution models of forest cover," the report said.

They had to map the area twice separately - first in 2012 with an area of about 37 km2 and again in 2015 covering the entire mountain range with an area of 975 km2.

The map details the location of buildings such as an unfinished reservoir, numerous dams, walls surrounding temples and even a palace.
The roads, temples, and carvings of Mahendraparvata are still unexplored. Photo: Telegraph.
These discoveries open the door to learning more about the Khmer Empire and the region of Angkor. The map shows the city was planned as a municipality with "sophisticated hydrodynamic systems" and other inventions, the report said.

More specifically, the scientists also discovered that the city was built on axes in proportion to the main directions of the compass, as an initial version of modern city planning.

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