In a Sydney Morning Herald exclusive, an international team of archeologists have revealed the discovery of a hitherto unknown city in Cambodia.
Dr Evans, director of the University of Sydney's archaeological research centre in Cambodia, said the ''eureka moment'' in the discovery came weeks earlier when the lidar data popped up on a computer screen. ''With this instrument - bang - all of a sudden we saw an immediate picture of an entire city that no one knew existed which is just remarkable,'' he said.Mahendraparvata, as the city is known, is estimated to be 350 years older than the UNESCO Heritage site of Angkor Wat, built on on Phnom Kulen before Jayavarman II descended from the mountain to build another capital. As Dr Evans said ''This is where it all began, giving rise to the Angkor civilisation that everyone associates with Angkor Wat." The news comes on the heels of the recent repatriation of looted archeological treasures back to Cambodia by the New York Metropolitan museum.
The small village of Siem Reap, Cambodia has mushroomed since the 19th century French discovery of Angkor Wat. It is now Southeast Asia's most visited tourist destination, notably among South Koreans. In 2010, they accounted for 12% of foreign visitors to the region, ranking just below neighboring Vietnam. But the sprawling temples of Angkor may not be the first stop on every South Korean's itinerary.
On the frosty Korean Peninsula, relations between North and South are perennially tense. But here amid the balmy breezes of this Cambodian tourist town, Koreans from both sides of the border are enthusiastically fraternizing at the North Korean restaurant as if reunification were just days away [NYT].[more inside]
CyArk is a non-profit which makes three-dimensional scans of archaeological sites with lasers in effort to digitally preserve them. It currently has 27 projects, including Chichén Itzá, Angkor Wat, Anasazi Pueblos in Mesa Verde, Thebes, Rapa Nui and the Royal Tombs at Kasubi. There's quite a lot of material about Cyark online, including profiles Wired Science, a lecture by founder Ben Kacyra at Google as well as an article in Archaeology and an article by two CyArk employees in Professional Surveyor describing how they work.
Angkor Wat guide. "Published in 1944 in Saigon, republished in 1948 and again in Paris in 1963, The Monuments of the Angkor Group by Maurice Glaize remains the most comprehensive of the guidebooks and the most easily accessible to a wide public, dedicated to one of the most fabled architectural ensembles in the world." Now online, updated, with maps and photos. (More Angkor Wat links in this previous post.) Via Plep.
Water woes, not wars, ended Angkor's empire, according to the Greater Angkor Project. Ecological failure and infrastructure breakdown brought down Cambodia's great city and Hindu civilization.